Global Economy Week Ahead: Eurozone Inflation and GDP, U.S. Jobs Report

By WSJ StaffFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

This week features inflation and unemployment figures from both the U.S. and the eurozone, while a reading on eurozone gross domestic product will show if the currency area's economy maintained its momentum through the end of 2017.

MONDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department publishes personal income, spending and inflation figures for the end of 2017, which will cap a year that has seen increasing consumer spending, a declining saving rate and price increases that remain below the Federal Reserve's target. Monday's release could signal robust outlay growth and stronger inflation after the most recent gross domestic product report showed consumer spending rose at the strongest clip since late 2014 and inflation increased at the fastest rate in about six years. Also, analysts have suggested the U.S.'s declining saving rate is unsustainable and is due for an uptick.

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TUESDAY: Figures from the European Union's statistics office will show just how rapidly the eurozone economy grew in 2017, what some see as a banner year. Economists estimate that gross domestic product in 2017 was around 2.4% higher than in 2016, which would be the fastest rate of growth in a decade.

WEDNESDAY: Eurostat releases eurozone inflation figures for January and unemployment for December. Faster economic growth has led some investors to speculate that the European Central Bank will move more decisively this year to wind down its stimulus programs. The problem is that the inflation rate, which is the ECB's only target, remains subdued. Indeed, economists expect Eurostat figures to show it dipped for a second straight month, to 1.3% in January.

FRIDAY: The Labor Department releases U.S. employment data for January as the labor market sits at 4.1% unemployment rate. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefit applications remains ultralow, and the Fed has reported employers are struggling to find qualified labor and are looking at ramping up benefits and pay packages to attract workers. Continued business and consumer optimism points to the unemployment rate falling further or remaining at 4.1%.

The University of Michigan releases its final reading for consumer sentiment in January. This measure of how consumers feel about the economy has slid for three straight months after hitting its highest level in more than a decade. Uncertainty related to the impact of the new tax law could weigh on the final release.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 28, 2018 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)