After the fiscal-cliff storm, this will be a quiet week for economic data releases in the U.S.
November's trade deficit likely narrowed slightly. Both exports and imports were probably affected by the strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at the end of the month.
In Europe, the key event will be the European Central Bank’s interest-rate announcement and press conference on Jan. 10.
“Despite the sizable challenges facing the ECB, it appears unlikely that it will take any steps towards meeting them at January’s meeting,” Ben May of Capital Economics wrote in a note to clients.
ECB President Mario Draghi will likely reiterate that the ECB stands ready to undertake outright monetary transactions, or OMTs, and he may even show signs of warming to the idea of a cut in interest rates. But he will probably keep the onus on euro-zone governments by stressing once again that the ECB cannot solve the region’s debt crisis single-handedly, May predicted.
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Euro-zone economic data are likely to confirm that the recession worsened at the end of the year.
Elsewhere, there are scheduled interest-rate meetings in Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand. Rates are likely to be left on hold in all three countries. Meanwhile, China’s economic data for December is expected to be mixed.
Below are entries on the economic calendar Jan. 7-11. All listed times are EST.
No significant events or releases in the U.S.
Romania -- January interest-rate announcement.
Euro zone -- ECB President Mario Draghi speaks on "The Political Shape of the New Europe" in Berlin.
Euro zone -- November producer price index, or PPI.
Chile -- November activity index.
Japan -- December auto sales.
7:30 a.m. -- The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index for December.
3 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker (a nonvoter on the Federal Open Market Committee this year) speaks on the "Economic Outlook, January 2013" at the South Carolina Business and Industry Political Education Committee's 27th annual meeting in Columbia.
3 p.m. -- Economists look for an increase of $11.25 billion in November consumer credit, compared with a gain of $14.2 billion in October. In recent months, most of the growth in consumer credit has been due to the nonrevolving component, specifically federal student loans, while the revolving component has been more volatile -- a trend that is expected to continue in November.
Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Jorg Asmussen speaks on "The Political Shape of the New Europe" in Berlin.
Euro zone -- November retail sales.
Euro zone -- November unemployment rate.
7 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association's, or MBA's, mortgage-applications indexes for the week ending Jan. 5.
Poland -- January repo rate.
Russia -- January overnight deposit rate and overnight repo rate.
Thailand -- January benchmark interest rate.
8:30 a.m. -- Economists predict initial jobless claims edged down to 365,000 during the week of Jan. 5, compared with a reading of 372,000 the week before.
10 a.m. -- Inventories at wholesalers likely rose by 0.3 percent in November, following a 0.6 percent increase in October.
1:10 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the 2013 economic outlook before the Central Exchange in Kansas City, Mo.
2 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the U.S. economy and monetary policy at Wisconsin Bankers Association's Wisconsin Economic Forecast luncheon in Madison.
8 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) participates in discussion on the 2013 U.S. economy with Marketplace Money economics editor Chris Farrell in Minneapolis.
Italy -- Dissolution of parliament (tentative).
France -- Labor-market reform talks resume.
Indonesia -- Bank Indonesia Reference interest rate for January.
U.K. -- Announcement on proposed changes to retail price index, or RPI, following the Consumer Prices Advisory Committee, or CPAC, recommendations to the national statistician.
U.K. -- Bank of England asset-purchase and interest-rate decisions for January.
Euro zone -- ECB interest-rate announcement and press conference.
Euro zone -- ECB President Mario Draghi speaks at the "New Face of the Euro" exhibition in Germany.
Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Jorg Asmussen speaks at the State Agency for Civic Education event in Berlin.
Peru -- January reference rate.
China -- December M2 growth, foreign reserves, new loans, and imports and exports.
France -- December harmonized index of consumer prices and consumer price index, or CPI.
Mexico -- October economic activity index.
8:30 a.m. -- Import prices likely remained flat in December, with a probable rise in petroleum prices offset by a drop in ex-petroleum prices. Export prices are also expected to remain flat.
8:30 a.m. -- The trade deficit likely reversed the previous month’s widening and shrank to $41.5 billion in November due to a price-related fall in the value of oil imports. The recent volatility in both exports and imports probably continued. After falling sharply in October, as Superstorm Sandy forced ports to close, exports and imports may have rebounded in November. However, the strike by workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at the end of the month will have limited the rebound.
9:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economic outlook before the New Jersey Economic Leadership Forum in Somerset.
2 p.m. -- Treasury budget balance for December.
South Korea -- January South Korea seven-day repo rate.
Germany -- Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks on “Institutional Change and European Unity” at the University of Heidelberg.
China -- December CPI, PPI.
U.K. -- November industrial output.
U.K. -- November manufacturing output.
Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Societe Generale.