US Housing Starts
U.S. housing starts fell 8.8 percent in March, adding to signs of weak first-quarter GDP growth. REUTERS

Data releases in the week of Sept. 17-21 are likely to highlight the contrasting fortunes of the industrial and housing sectors.

The continued weakness of the global economy will probably leave the two regional manufacturing purchasing managers index (Empire State and Philly Fed) and the national Markit PMI at low levels in September.

Meanwhile, economists expect August's data on housing starts and existing home sales to show that the housing recovery remains intact.

In Europe, next week's surveys will cast the first light on September. The key euro zone data releases will be the German ZEW and Euro zone PMI surveys -- both are likely to bring further signs of a deepening and spreading recession.

While last week's developments bolstered hopes that the euro zone has finally reached a turning point, September could still prove to be another false dawn if the recent progress is not backed up by additional steps.

In the coming week, markets will digest any news from this weekend's meeting of European finance ministers in the Cypriot capital Nicosia. Economists suspect that developments will be broadly positive, with a timeline for capitalizing the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, finally set out.

Spain revealed Friday that it will present a new set of economic reforms by Sept. 27, in a move that raises hopes that the struggling country will soon ask for financial help. Meanwhile, Greece's creditors indicated that it may get more time to reach financial targets under its €130 billion rescue package, but probably not more money.

Below are entries on the economic calendar for Sept. 17-21. All listed times are EDT.


8:30 a.m. - The Empire State manufacturing index is likely to rebound to -2 in September. The August print surprised to the downside with a reading of -5.9, and while economists forecast a modest improvement, the index would remain in negative territory, along with several other important manufacturing indices.


Japan -- Markets closed in observance of Respect for the Aged Day holiday.

Belgium - Central bank governor Luc Coene speaks on policy challenges facing the Euro area economy in London.

Austria - Central bank governor Ewald Nowotny participates in panel discussion on perspectives for Europe in Vienna.

India - Reserve Bank of India will likely leave its policy repo rate unchanged at 8 percent.

E17 - July European Central Bank current account.

E17 - July trade balance.


8:00 a.m. -- Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (FOMC non-voter) speaks on Perspectives on Current Economic Issues before a Bank of Ann Arbor breakfast meeting in Michigan.

8:30 a.m. - Economists look for the second-quarter current account deficit to narrow to $127 billion from $137.3 billion in the first quarter. This would be mostly driven by a narrowing in the trade deficit, in line with the revisions to Q2 GDP that showed a positive contribution from net trade.

9:00 a.m. - Net long-term Treasury International Capital (TIC) flows for July.

10:00 a.m. - Economists expect the NAHB index of homebuilder sentiment to increase to 38 in September from 37 in August. Housing indicators have continued to improve in recent months.

11:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley (FOMC voter) speaks on regional and national economic conditions before the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey.

4:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley (FOMC voter) speaks on economic conditions in New Jersey and the U.S. economic outlook. [NOTE: Speech nearly identical to earlier of Sept. 18.]

7:15 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker (FOMC voter) speaks on Maximum Employment and Monetary Policy before the Money Marketeers of New York University.


Australia - Minutes of Reserve Bank of Australia monthly board meeting.

Turkey - September benchmark repo rate.

U.K. - August CPI.

E17 - September ZEW economic sentiment index.

Germany - September ZEW economic expectations index.

New Zealand - Q2 current account balance.


7 a.m. -- Mortgage Bankers Association's mortgage index for the week ending Sept. 15.

8:30 a.m. - Housing starts likely rose 3 percent in August from the prior month, to 769,000 units. Homebuilder sentiment has improved and economists look for stats to stay elevated relative to previous months. Building permits for August likely fell to a rate of 798,000 units from 811,000 units in July.

9:45 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George (FOMC non-voter) gives welcome remarks before The Future of Workforce Development conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in Missouri.

10:00 a.m. - Economists expect existing home sales to rise 2.5 percent in August to 4.6 million units from 4.47 million in July.

9:00 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher (FOMC non-voter) speaks on Economic and Monetary Policy Outlook before a Harvard Club of New York City.


Japan - Bank of Japan announces target overnight interest rate.

Japan - August trade balance.

France -- Government presents the ratification law for the fiscal compact.

E17 - ECB non-policy meeting.

E17 - July construction output.

U.K. -- Bank of England releases the minutes from the September meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

South Africa - August CPI.

Malaysia - August CPI.

Belgium - September CPI.

New Zealand - Q2 GDP.


7:44 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren (FOMC non-voter) speaks before the South Shore Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Breakfast in Massachusetts.

8:30 a.m. -- Economists look for initial jobless claims to slip to 375,000 for the week ending Sept. 15, from 382,000 in the prior week.

9:30 a.m. -- The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), published by Markit, will likely remain flat at 51.5 in August.

9:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart (FOMC voter) speaks on Workforce Development before The Future of Workforce Development conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in Missouri.

10:00 a.m. - Economists expect the Conference Board's index of leading indicators to contract 0.1 percent in August, which would be the third time that the index has contracted on a monthly basis so far in 2012.

10:00 a.m. - The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index has stood below zero since May, and economists expect a modest increase to -3.5 in September from -7.1.

12:00 p.m. -- Federal Reserve releases quarterly Flow of Funds Accounts of the U.S.

1:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (FOMC non-voter) speaks before a group of area business and community leaders in Michigan.

5:00 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto (FOMC voter) speaks before the Miami University Farmer School of Business Executive Speaker Series in Ohio. Topic: TBA.

6:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard (FOMC non-voter) gives U.S. Monetary Policy lecture at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.


South Africa - South Africa Reserve Bank announces interest rate.

Spain -- Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy meets Italy Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome (to Sept. 21).

China - September HSBC flash manufacturing PMI index.

Japan - Index of all-industry activity for July.

Switzerland - August trade balance.

E17 - September flash consumer confidence index.

E17 -- September flash manufacturing / services PMI index.

France - September flash manufacturing / services PMI index.

Germany - September flash manufacturing / services PMI index.

Germany - August PPI.

Netherlands - September consumer confidence index.

U.K. - August retail sales.

U.K. - CBI industrial trends for September.

Poland - August core inflation.

Ireland - Q2 GDP.

Columbia - Q2 GDO.


12:40 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart (FOMC voter) speaks on U.S. Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy before the Atlanta Institute of Internal Auditors in Georgia.


Norway -- Central bank Governor Oeystein Olsen speaks at a meeting hosted by Bergen Chamber of Commerce and industry in Bergen.

Argentina - Q2 GDP.

Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Market News, Capital Economics, Nomura.