Global Economy Week Ahead: ECB Meeting, U.S. Productivity, China Trade

By WSJ StaffFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

This week's economic calendar features U.S. trade and productivity data, a European Central Bank policy meeting, and Chinese foreign-exchange and trade figures.

WEDNESDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department releases its July international trade report. The trade gap narrowed sharply in June, as a strengthening global economy pushed up demand for American exports. The deficit with other nations contracted 5.9% from a month earlier to $43.64 billion. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the July trade deficit was $44.6 billion.

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THURSDAY: European Central Bank officials gathering in Frankfurt could discuss a key topic for investors: How to wind down the ECB's giant bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, which is due to run through December. The euro has soared against the dollar in recent months, partly on speculation that the ECB will move to withdraw easy money. ECB President Mario Draghi has said policy makers will discuss the future of QE in the fall, but he declined to give clues on their thinking in a speech at the Jackson Hole economic symposium in Wyoming last month. Many analysts suspect the decision might be delayed until October. The ECB will hold a press conference after releasing its policy decision.

China releases data on foreign-exchange reserves. Valuation impacts on reserve assets from a weakening U.S. dollar and eased capital outflow pressure should have boosted the size of the world's largest stockpile of foreign currency for a seventh straight month. Economists expect reserves edged up to around $3.1 trillion at the end of August, from $3.081 trillion at the end of July.

The U.S. Labor Department releases revised data on second-quarter productivity and costs. Productivity growth has been lackluster since the recession, one factor economists use when attempting to explain the recently sluggish wage growth. The second-quarter figures released in August showed U.S. worker productivity picked up modestly in the second quarter, but showed little sign of a breakout. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast productivity rose at a 1.3% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, up from an originally reported 0.9% growth pace.

FRIDAY: China releases trade data (release time is Thursday evening in the U.S.). Economists forecast that exports rose about 6% from a year earlier in August, moderating from July's 7.2% growth, while imports likely climbed 10%, down from July's 11% increase. That would bring the country's trade surplus to about $48.30 billion last month, widening from July's $46.74 billion.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 03, 2017 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)