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Трейдер на фондовой бирже в Нью-Йорке. 24 декабря 2015 года. Уолл-стрит снизилась в четверг, так как падение энергетических акций омрачило праздничное настроение инвесторов во время короткой предрождественской сессии. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week – The final reading of third-quarter U.S. growth will be the main focus for global financial markets this week, as investors begin to wind down trading activity before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Elsewhere, traders will pay close attention to a monetary policy decision due in Japan amid speculation the Bank of Japan will lag well behind major global central banks in dialing back its massive stimulus program.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., market players will be looking ahead to a final reading on British growth data for further indications on the continued effect that the Brexit decision is having on the economy.

Investors will also keep an eye out on survey data on German business confidence to gauge sentiment in the euro zone’s largest economy.

In addition, market players will be looking to Friday’s data on Canada’s gross domestic product to gauge the health of the economy.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. U.S. Third Quarter GDP – Final Estimate

The U.S. is to release final figures on third quarter economic growth at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT) Thursday.

The data is expected to confirm that the economy expanded by 3.3% in the three months ended September 30, unchanged from a preliminary estimate. It grew by 3.1% in the second quarter.

Reports on personal income and spending, which includes the personal consumption expenditures inflation data, the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation, will also be on the agenda.

This week’s calendar also features U.S. data on durable goods ordersbuilding permitshome sales as well as a survey on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia area.

The Fed raised interest rates as expected last week and left its rate outlook of three additional rate increases in 2018 and 2019 unchanged, due to the sluggish inflation outlook.

Meanwhile, tax reform legislation will remain on the agenda, as lawmakers work to push through a bill to overhaul the tax code ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline. The House votes on the bill Tuesday.

2. BOJ Policy Announcement

The Bank of Japan is not expected to make any changes to its monetary policy at the conclusion of its two-day rate review on Thursday, as robust exports and private consumption heighten prospects of a moderate economic expansion.

Still, the BoJ is set to largely maintain its current inflation forecasts, blaming stagnant consumer prices on factors such as corporate efforts to boost productivity.

BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a press conference afterward to discuss the decision. He is likely to remind markets of the BoJ’s resolve to maintain its ultra-easy policy until inflation is sustainably above 2%.

Market analysts expect the BOJ to keep both short-term rates and the 10-year bond yield target unchanged at least until the second half of 2019. Most economists believe the Japanese central bank will start scaling back its stimulus in late 2018 or after.

3. U.K. Final Q3 GDP

The Office for National Statistics is to produce a third estimate on U.K. third quarter economic growth at 09:30GMT (4:30AM ET) on Friday.

The report is forecast to confirm the economy grew 0.4% in the July-to-September period, unchanged from a preliminary reading. On a year-over-year basis, the economy is forecast to grow by 1.5%, also unchanged from an initial estimate.

The Bank of England last week voted unanimously to keep rates at 0.5%, as expected, as policymakers grapple with uncertainty over Brexit, low wage growth and weak productivity, which are all weighing on the economy.

Politics is likely to be at the back of investors’ minds, as they keep an ear out for any news regarding the Brexit negotiations after Prime Minister Theresa May secured agreement from the European Union to move on from discussing the divorce terms to mapping out a plan for the future trade relationship.

4. German IFO Business Sentiment

The Ifo German research institute is to report on German business sentiment at 09:00GMT (4:00AM ET) on Tuesday, with market players expecting the index to inch up to 117.6 this month, which would be an all-time high.

The monthly index is based on a survey of around 7,000 German firms in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail sectors.

In addition, the euro zone will publish final inflation figures for November on Monday. The report is expected to confirm that consumer prices rose 1.5%, remaining below the European Central Bank’s 2%-target.

The ECB kept its key rates on hold last week and stuck to its pledge to provide stimulus for as long as needed, predicting inflation would remain below target into 2020.

5. Canadian Growth Figures

Canada is to release monthly economic growth figures at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT) Friday. The data is expected to show that the economy expanded 0.2% in October, after growing 0.2% a month earlier.

Besides the GDP report, top-tier data on inflation and retail sales should also capture some attention.

The Bank of Canada held interest rates steady earlier this month and tempered expectations for a hike early next year, as policymakers await for uncertainties, such as NAFTA renegotiation, to clear before raising rates again.

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