In this holiday-shortened week in the U.S., attention will be on existing- and new-home sales, which are likely to show continued strength.

January’s preliminary Markit Manufacturing PMI release, however, will probably highlight that producers are continuing to struggle against a weak global backdrop. The Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Kansas City will also release their survey results this week on regional manufacturing activities.

Meanwhile, economists expect the euro zone PMI, German ZEW and Ifo surveys to have continued their recent upward trends in January, but they will remain at pretty low levels by historical standards.

This Friday will see the publication of the UK’s gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2012, which is expected to confirm that the economy slumped into the red at the end of last year. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee minutes are also well worth watching.

Elsewhere, eyes will be on the central bank decisions in Japan and Philippines.

On Sunday, Japan's economy minister Akira Amari told reporters that the difference between the government and the Bank of Japan on a joint statement on monetary policy is narrowing.

At its Jan. 21-22 policy meeting, the Bank of Japan is likely to state an inflation target of 2 percent in the joint document with the government and decide to increase the size of its asset purchase program by between 5 trillion yen and 10 trillion yen, according to economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The Philippine central bank is expected to keep policy rates constant at 3.5 percent.

On the data front, Korea will release its fourth-quarter GDP figures on Wednesday and on Thursday, market participants will get China's HSBC flash PMI for January.

Below are entries on the economic calendar Jan. 22-25. All listed times are EST.


8:30 a.m. – The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) for December.

10:00 a.m. -- Existing-home sales broke above the 5 million mark in November and economists think that they probably ended 2012 with a bang. Economists forecast a 1 percent increase to 5.1 million in December, following a 5.9 percent spike in November.

10:00 a.m. -- The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for January.


France -- President François Hollande visits Germany.

Japan – BoJ target rate.

Israel – National election.

E27 -- ECOFIN meeting (Brussels).

Turkey -- Benchmark repo rate, overnight borrowing rate and overnight lending rate.

E17 -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at the New Year's Reception of the IHK Frank.

E17 -- ZEW economic sentiment index for January.

Germany -- ZEW economic expectations index for January.


7:00 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association's, or MBA's, mortgage-applications indexes for the week ending Jan. 19.

9:00 a.m. – Economists look for the  FHFA Home Price Index to rise 0.7 percent in November, consistent with the improvement in other home price indices during the same period. This would translate into a year-over-year increase of 5.5 percent.


UK -- The Bank of England's MPC minutes for January, bank rate vote and asset purchase vote.

UK – ILO unemployment rate for November and claimant count unemployment for December.

E17 – “Flash” consumer confidence index for January.

Korea – Preliminary GDP for Q4.

Japan – Trade balance for December.


8:30 a.m. – Initial jobless claims likely bounced back to 355,000 for the week ending Jan. 19. In the prior week, claims dropped to 335,000. However, the Department of Labor noted that high seasonality and volatility impacted the data, and so economists expect some reversal.

8:58 a.m. -- The rise in the Markit PMI to a seven-month high of 54 in December probably exaggerated the improvement in the manufacturing sector, as the pick-up in the alternative ISM survey was relatively modest. Economists expect the Markit PMI to drop back in January to 53.3.

10:00 a.m. – The Conference Board’s index of December leading economic indicators likely rose by 0.3 percent from a month ago, after a decline of 0.2 percent in November. The most significant factor contributing to the rise is expected to be jobless claims, which returned to their trend levels after spiking in November due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

11:00 a.m. -- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Composite Index for January.


South Africa – Repo rate.

Philippines – BSP policy rate.

China – “Flash” HSBC manufacturing PMI index for January.

E17 – “Flash” manufacturing PMI index, services PMI index and composite index for January.

France – “Flash” manufacturing PMI index and services PMI index for January.

Germany – “Flash” manufacturing PMI index and services PMI index for January.

Sweden -- Unemployment rate for December.

Mexico – Economic activity index for November.

Japan – Nationwide CPI for December and Tokyo CPI for January.


10:00 a.m. – New-home sales probably rose 2.4 percent to an annualized 386,000 in December.


Germany -- IFO business climate index, current assessment index and business expectations index for January.

UK – Preliminary release of Q4 GDP.

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