Markets will watch Japan's trade balance next week for confirmation of further record plunges in exports for the world's second-largest economy. Later in the week Japanese inflation results will be released. In New Zealand, fourth quarter GDP is expected post dismal results.

Akira Maekawa, economist at UBS, expects another record annual plunge in Japanese exports for February, following the record 45.7% drop in January.

Maekawa said export weakness will keep the trade balance in deficit, despite the rapid pace of decline in import levels.

Economists expect a deficit of ¥295.6 billion, smaller than the ¥364.9 billion deficit recorded in January.

Later in the week, Japanese inflation results for February are expected to reveal a 0.2% drop in core CPI, matching January's drop. Headline CPI is expected to fall 0.1% against a flat reading the prior month.

Turning to New Zealand, gross domestic product results are expected to reveal the dire effects of the global recession on the country's manufacturing and construction sectors.

GDP data is expected to confirm that the final quarter of 2008 was the worst quarter for growth in an awful year, wrote economists at Westpac.

In Australia, markets will hear from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens when he speaks in Sydney on Tuesday (Monday night EDT) and the RBA's financial stability review will also be released.

The RBA's financial stability review will likely highlight Australia's relative resilience against global economic headwinds, but with the outlook continuing to worsen, the tone would surely be more sombre than the last edition, said economist at UBS.

All times in EDT:

Sunday

19:50 JP BSI Large All Industry (Q/Q) Q1 Prior: -35.7

19:50 JP BSI Large Manufacturing (Q/Q) Q1 Prior: -44.5

Monday

1:00 JP Supermarket Sales (Y/Y) February Prior: -2.7%

3:00 JP Convenience Store Sales (Y/Y) February Prior: +7.0%

3:50 JP Japan Land Prices Nationwide Prior: +1.7%

18:30 AU Assistant RBA Governor Lowe Gives Speech in Sydney

19:50 JP Bank of Japan to Publish Minutes of February 18-19 Board Meeting

Tuesday

19:50 JP Merchandise Trade Balance Total February Exp: -Â¥20.0B Prior: -Â¥952.6B Revised: -Â¥956.9B

19:50 JP Adjusted Merchandise Trade Balance February Exp: -Â¥295.6B Prior: -Â¥364.9B

21:00 NZ Westpac NZ Consumer Confidence Q1 Prior: +101.3

22:00 JP BOJ Deputy Governor Yamaguchi to Speak in Otaru City

Wednesday

3:30 AU RBA Governor Stevens Gives Speech in Melbourne

17:45 NZ Current Account Balance Q4 Exp: +N$-4.000B Prior: +N$-5.994B

17:45 NZ Account Deficit-GDP Ratio Q4 Exp: +9.0% Prior: -8.6%

18:10 AU RBA Head of Economics Richards Gives Speech in Sydney

19:00 AU Conference Board Leading Index January Prior: -0.9%

19:50 JP Corp Service Price (Y/Y) February Exp: -2.5% Prior: -2.2%

19:50 JP Foreign Buying Japan Bonds W/E March 19 Prior: +Â¥58.2B

19:50 JP Foreign Buying Japan Stocks W/E March 19 Prior: -Â¥214.9B

19:50 JP Japan Buying Foreign Stocks W/E March 19 Prior: +Â¥157.4B

19:50 JP Japan Buying Foreign Bonds W/E March 19 Prior: +Â¥953.9B

20:30 AU Reserve Bank Releases Financial Stability Review

Thursday

17:45 NZ GDP (Q/Q) Q4 Exp: -1.1% Prior: -0.4%

17:45 NZ GDP (Y/Y) Q4 Exp: -2.0% Prior: -0.1%

17:45 NZ Trade Balance February Exp: +N$25.5M Prior: +N$-187.0M

17:45 NZ Imports February Exp: +3.30B Prior: +3.36B

17:45 NZ Exports February Exp: +3.35B Prior: +3.18B

17:45 NZ Balance YTD February Exp: -5.5 Prior: -5480

19:30 JP Tokyo CPI (Y/Y) March Exp: +0.3% Prior: +0.5%

19:30 JP Tokyo CPI Ex-Fresh Food (Y/Y) March Exp: +0.4% Prior: +0.6%

19:30 JP Tokyo CPI Ex Food, Energy (Y/Y) March Exp: -0.3% Prior: -0.1%

19:30 JP National CPI (Y/Y) February Exp: -0.1% Prior: +0.0%

19:30 JP National CPI Ex-Fresh Food (Y/Y) February Exp: +0.0% Prior: +0.0%

19:30 JP National CPI Ex Food, Energy (Y/Y) February Exp: -0.2% Prior: -0.2%

19:50 JP Large Retailers' Sales February Exp: -6.5% Prior: -5.6% Revised: -5.5%

19:50 JP Retail Trade (Y/Y) February Exp: -3.3% Prior: -2.4%

19:50 JP Retail Trade (M/M) SA February Exp: -0.6% Prior: +0.6% Revised: -0.1%

22:00 CN Industrial Profits YTD (Y/Y) February Prior: +4.9%

Friday: No data expected to be released in Australia or Japan

By Megan Ainscow, mainscow@economicnews.ca, edited by Ernest Hoffman, ehoffman@economicnews.ca