Global Economy Week Ahead: China CPI, Bank of England Meeting, U.S. Retail Sales

By WSJ Staff Features Dow Jones Newswires

This week, the Bank of England will announce an interest-rate policy decision, and data on Chinese inflation and U.S. retail sales will be released.

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MONDAY: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard kicks off a busy week of speeches by U.S. central-bank officials with a talk in Florida on low interest rates. Other regional Fed bank presidents speaking this week include Boston's Eric Rosengren, Dallas's Robert Kaplan and New York's William Dudley. Their appearances come after the central bank's policy-setting committee last week decided not to raise interest rates but signaled future increases.

WEDNESDAY: China's April inflation data (to be released Tuesday night U.S. time) are expected to show that the consumer-price index edged up last month to around 1% year on year from March's 0.9% level, on higher nonfood prices and a low year-ago base of comparison. The producer-price index is forecast to decelerate to around a 7% increase on year in April, from March's 7.6%, on declining commodity prices.

THURSDAY: The Bank of England is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.25%, ahead of a national election in the U.K. June 8 and talks with the European Union over Brexit. Some officials in recent months have signaled they are inching closer to voting for an interest-rate increase to keep a lid on inflation, though a first-quarter economic slowdown will likely persuade a majority to stand pat.

FRIDAY: Economists expect official figures to show the German economy accelerated during the first three months of the year, outpacing the U.S., the U.K. and France by recording an increase of 0.6% in its gross domestic product compared with the previous quarter. That would be mixed news for the European Central Bank. While a pickup in the eurozone's largest member should support its efforts to raise inflation sustainably to its target, a faster rate of growth also is likely to strengthen the conviction of many Germans that interest rates are too low and the bond-buying program unnecessary.

Economists will watch to see if U.S. retail sales, which fell for the second straight month in March, can align with recent indications of strong consumer optimism and hiring. Sales are expected to rise 0.5% from the prior month, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. Also on Friday, the Labor Department will release figures for April's consumer prices. The April index is expected to increase 0.2% from the prior month. Steady readings for these data points could give further ammunition to the Fed for rate increases.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 07, 2017 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)