Japanese shipments rose in March from a record low, as shipments dropped by 45.6 percent following the prior record drop of 49.4 percent reported back in February, the Japanese economy remains under pressure, however encouraging signs started to emerge recently and accordingly the economy might be bottoming and on course to recovery.

Meanwhile the United kingdom dominates today’s economic calendar, as the Bank of England will release the minutes for the last meeting, in which the BOE decided to leave interest rates steady at a record low of 0.50 percent, while confirming at the same time that the BOE will continue to undergo its quantitative easing in a bid to revive lending and accordingly economic growth.

Falling consumer spending, rising unemployment and falling home values have been all weighing down on economic growth, especially amid the ongoing fallout in the services sector which accounts for nearly ¾ of economic activity in the United Kingdom.

The labor market is still expected to deteriorate further over the upcoming period, as companies continue to layoff workers amid the ongoing challenging environment in a bid to reduce costs and revive profitability through downsizing their operations.

The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 6.7 percent according to the ILO unemployment index for the three months ending February up from the prior reported rise of 6.5 percent, while the claimant count rate is expected to surge in March to 4.6% from 4.3% and the jobless claims change is expected to have risen in March by 116,000 down from the prior rise of 138,400.

Also the U.K. will release the public finances for the month of March, median estimates signal that public finances rose to 18.0 billion pounds from the prior estimate of 4.0 billion, while public sector net borrowing is expected to have risen to 15.5 billion from the prior estimate of 9.0 billion.

The U.K. will be releasing the M4 money supply index for the month of March, M4 is expected to have risen by 1.2% following the prior reported rise of 1.4%, while compared with a year earlier M4 is expected to have risen by 19.2% up from the prior estimate of 18.7%.

Meanwhile, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will report the budget statement before the Parliament today; the budget deficit is expected to swell to a record 160 billion pounds, which would total 11 percent of GDP, though Darling revealed back in November that the budget deficit will be 8 percent of GDP.

The British government has been combining its efforts with the BOE recently to help revive economic growth; however the economy remains under huge pressures and will probably continue to contract well into next year, as unemployment is still expected to rise further this year and that alone should be enough to suppress economic activity.

Canada will release its leading indicators for the month of March, the index is expected to show that leading indicators contracted by 0.8% up from the prior contraction of 1.1% reported back in February and could be indeed signaling that world economies are indeed recovering, as the pace of slowdown continues to ease in different parts of the world.

As for the U.S. economy, a report is expected to show that house prices dropped in February by 0.7% following the prior reported rise of 1.7 percent, falling home values continued to weigh down on economic growth over the course of this crisis, as the housing sector is yet to recover from its worst slump since the Great Depression