In the euro area, focus will stay on the developments of the debt crisis, with Spain at the fore…
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Busy calendar in the United States, with important releases coming up. Economic data should generally point to a slowdown in growth. In May, the CPI, PPI and import prices should be down on lower energy prices, whereas core indices are expected to keep rising at their recent pace of +0.2% m/m. Retail sales are expected to have contracted in May, given lower gasoline prices and auto sales; industrial output should also be down. The first June data should not ch’ange the overall picture of positive but weaker growth, with consumer confidence and the Empire survey expected to slip.
Monday 11 June
France. Industrial output is expected to have risen slightly in April, after contracting in March. The monthly change could amount to 0.2%, from -0.9% the previous month, that would result in zero growth in both annual and quarterly terms. Beyond a possible, limited rebound in April, confidence indices are pointing to persistently weak productive activity in the months ahead.
Italy. The second reading of 1Q 2012 GDP should confirm the preliminary rates of -0.8% q/q (from -0.7% in 4Q 2011) and -1.3% y/y. Broken down data should show declines across the board for domestic components. Investments should be the most affected item, down by around 2.5%. Consumption is expected to decline more or less in line with 4Q 2011 (-0.7%). The only positive contribution to GDP is expected to come from foreign trade (around 0.5% in our estimation).
Tuesday 12 June
Import prices in May are expected to fall by -1% m/m, dropping for the second month in a row, due to lower energy prices and dollar appreciation. On a yearly basis, import prices should be down -0.6% y/y, turning negative for the first time since October 2009.
Wednesday 13 June
France. Inflation is forecast to drop slightly in May, to 2% from 2.1% in April. In the month, the consumer price index should be down by 0.05%, following a 0.1% rise in April. The slowdown in inflation could be guided by a decline in the energy component, which should continue to moderate after rising sharply at the beginning of the year. Forecasts are for a slower inflation trend over the summer months, followed by a slight increase towards the end of the year, due to the effects of the planned VAT hike. The harmonised price index should be unchanged in the month, whereas the harmonised inflation rate should level off at 2.3% Industrial output in the euro area is estimated to have contracted by at least 1% m/m in April, after dropping by -0.3% m/m the previous month. The year-on-year rate will dive even further into negative territory, to -2.5% y/y. Once again, the strongest negative contributions to the euro area aggregate will come from Italy (-1.9% m/m) and Spain (-0.7% m/m), but also, and most significantly, from Germany (-2% m/m). Volatility is particularly high in Portugal (-6.5% m/m in April, from +3.2% in March).
In May, the PPI is estimated to have dropped by -1% m/m, as a result of lower energy prices. The indications provided by the ISM price index, and by the trend of oil and food prices, are clear, and point to an acceleration in the downtrend of producer prices. The core index should keep rising at a monthly pace of +0.2% m/m, as has been the case in the past six months.
Retail sales are expected to have slowed by -0.3% m/m in May, due to a strong negative price effect, combined with weakness in the auto sector. Net of the auto component, sales are estimated to have decreased by -0.1% m/m. Net of the auto, gasoline, and construction material components, the index should be up by 0.3% m/m. Auto sales decreased in the month, and should result in the first contraction in the auto component of the retail sales aggregate since January. Gasoline prices dropped significantly again in May, contributing to the overall index’s fall. On the other hand, positive indications should come from the apparel sector, after two months on the decline. Weekly sales gave mixed indications. Data on Q2 support forecasts for a slowdown in consumption to rates just in excess of 2% q/q ann., as opposed to a particularly upbeat Q1 (+2.7% q/q ann.).
Thursday 14 June
The second reading of May consumer prices should confirm the preliminary estimate at 2.4% y/y (from 2.6% y/y the previous month). The rate is consistent with a one-tenth drop in prices in the month. The core CPI could be slightly lower at 1.5% y/y. The recent decreases in commodity prices have significantly eased inflation risks. The CPI could stay broadly unchanged in the months ahead, then drop considerably only towards the end of 2012 or, more probably, in early 2013.
In May, the CPI should be down by -0.2% m/m, marking the first negative monthly change since May 2010; the core index is expected to keep up its recent trend of +0.2% month-onmonth rises. A sharp correction in energy prices, led by gasoline, should result in a decline of the headline index. The year-on-year headline index downtrend, recorded since the autumn, should continue, leading the index below 2% y/y for the first time since February 2011. The core index is estimated to drop to 2.2% y/y from 2.3% y/y, back to last February’s levels. The trend of the core index is being affected by rising rents, and by an average monthly increase in imputed rents, over the past year or so, of around 0.2% m/m. In the second half of the year we expect core inflation to ease gradually, to below 2% y/y.
Friday 15 June
Employment may have contracted by at least three tenths in 1Q 2012, after dropping by twotenths in the closing quarter of 2011. A decline is also expected in year-on-year terms, by – 0.3% (from -0.2% y/y in the previous period). The most important drag is the employment trend in peripheral euro area countries. The employment component of the PMI survey does not bode well for a recovery of employment in the next few quarters. United States
The NY Fed’s Empire index should drop to 14.2 in June from 17.1 in May. The index was positive in May, with orders, deliveries, back orders, and employment all on the rise. The ISM’s decline in May, and widespread weakness among other manufacturing sector surveys, point to a correction of the overall index, towards the average recorded over the past six months. In any case, the survey should continue to indicate growth in the sector.
Industrial output is estimated to have weakened in May by -0.1% m/m. Work hours in the manufacturing sector decreased by -0.4% m/m in May, and car manufacturers denounce a decline in activity in the sector after a string of robust monthly increases. Utilities should contribute positively to overall output, thanks to unusually mild weather. The production component of the ISM was down in May, after rising sharply in April, and other surveys also point to a slowdown in manufacturing activity, after many months of marked expansion. Utilisation of productive capacity should decrease marginally, to 79.1% from 79.2% in April.
Consumer confidence, as surveyed by the University of Michigan, should be down in June (preliminary) to 78 from 79.3 in May (final). In May the index rose by almost three points, to 79.3, mostly in the wake of the decline in gasoline prices. By contrast, the Conference Board index decreased significantly in May (to 64.9 from 68.7). The worsening of many components including the labour market index, points to a correction for the Univ. Of Michigan index as well, towards levels more in line with those seen in the months prior to May.
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