Review of the Week’s News
- In Libya, MQ pushed out of Misrata; in Syria, a vicious crackdown.
- Ben Bernanke gives the first FOMC press conference. Says nothing unexpected except that “extended period” means two FOMC meetings. Markets take his comments as doveish.
- Stephen Harper wins a majority in Canada after governing as a minority since 2006. Likely to fund corporate and income tax cuts with spending cuts. Liberals pushed into third place.
- Weidmann appointed new Bundesbank President, and sounds hawkish.
- Mario Draghi has now been endorsed for EBC President by all the big European powers except the key one, Germany.
- India hikes rates, Australia and New Zealand hold.
- Spending and production fall more than expected following quake and tsunami.
- BoJ predicts 0.6% growth in 2011.
- S&P puts debt on negative watch. Does anyone listen to these people?
- Northern Plains too wet for spring planting; drought persists in Great Plains.
- 9% of US corn planted vs. 46% a year ago.
- Cotton: Reports of cancelled orders — demand destruction beginning
- Price rises likely to be capped by record Thai production, but rains and lack of replanting cast a shadow over Brazilian production.
- China may be a buyer given high domestic prices.
- Durable goods orders still growing strongly.
- Advance GDP drops back to 1.8%; first drop after three quarterly rises.
- Initial claims are definitely picking up.
- Personal spending +0.6% MOM — looks fairly robust.
- Personal income +0.5% MOM — also a good number.
- ISM 60.4 — another slight fall but remains high.
- Case-Shiller shows continued drop in house prices.
- GDP +0.5%. As expected but suggests no growth over the last six months and little post-snow bounceback.
- PMI 54.6 — has been dropping all year.
- PMI’s remain on the low side.
- Another surprise drop in German retail sales.
- M3 growth remains depressed.
- Unemployment dropping only very slowly; remains at 9.9%.
- CPI rises to 2.8%, higher than expected.
- PMI remains on a high plateau at 58.
- Household spending -8.5% MOM.
- Industrial production -15.3% MOM.
- Core CPI still negative, but rising.
- Unemployment stable at 4.6%.
- Australia: Big jump in CPI boosts AUD.
- US Non-farm Payrolls, Factory Orders, ADP Employment, ISM Non-manufacturing PMI, Unit Labour Costs
- BoE and ECB decisions
- UK PPI, House Price Indices
- China Trade Balance, CPI
- US Trade Balance, Retail Sales, CPI