Global Economy Week Ahead: U.S. Trade Deficit, China Trade Surplus, BOE Meeting

02/04/18 03:14 PM EST
By WSJ Staff 

The week ahead will feature data on the U.S. trade deficit and China's trade surplus, while central bankers in Australia, Brazil and the U.K. will make monetary policy decisions.

TUESDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department releases international trade data for December. The U.S. trade gap rose to a nearly six-year high in November, driven by a surge in imports as upbeat American households stepped up purchases of cellphones and household items. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast a trade deficit of $52.1 billion in December, compared with November's $50.5 billion.

WEDNESDAY: Economists expect China's foreign-exchange reserves to continue expanding in January for the 11th straight month, by about $30 billion, to $3.17 trillion.

THURSDAY: The Bank of England is expected to signal that it anticipates raising interest rates in the U.K. two or three more times in the next three years when it presents its latest forecasts for growth and inflation. Economists say officials are likely to point to mounting inflationary pressure as slack in the U.K. labor market all but evaporates. The big unknown though is Brexit: Gov. Mark Carney says the path of monetary policy will depend on whether negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union come to an orderly conclusion.

The week is a busy one for monetary policy makers throughout the world. Among the central banks making policy decisions are those in Australia (Tuesday, local time), Brazil and India (Wednesday), Mexico and New Zealand (Thursday), and Russia (Friday).

THURSDAY: China's chronically large trade surplus likely widened in January as trade remained strong thanks to robust demand. Exports likely rose around 10.2% in January, largely holding steady from December's 10.9% increase. Imports growth probably accelerated to 9.2% from 4.5%, leading to a trade surplus of $56.4 billion, compared with December's $54.7 billion, economists predict.

FRIDAY: Economists expect China's consumer-price index rose about 1.5% in January from a year earlier, compared with about 1.8% growth in December. The shifting of the Lunar New Year holiday may have distorted the inflation data. (The CPI release time will be Thursday evening in the U.S.)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2018 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)

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