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The Week Ahead: 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

EconomyOct 09, 2016 04:46PM ET
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© Reuters. 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar This Week

Investing.com - In the week ahead, market players will be turning their attention to Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting for fresh clues on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

U.S. retail sales data will also be in the spotlight, as investors attempt to gauge if the world's largest economy is strong enough to withstand an increase in borrowing costs before the end of the year.

In addition, there are a handful of Fed speakers on tap, including Chair Janet Yellen, as traders look for more clues on the likelihood of a December rate hike.

This week also marks the start of the third-quarter earnings season in the U.S.

Elsewhere, China is to release what will be closely watched trade and inflation data amid ongoing concerns over the health of the world's second biggest economy.

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

1. Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes

The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its September policy meeting on Wednesday at 2:00PM ET (18:00GMT) as investors search for some clarity on where the U.S. central bank stands on its path toward rate hikes.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged following its meeting on September 21, but hinted that a hike could come in December if the job market continued to improve. At the same time, the U.S. central bank also cut the number of rate hikes it expects next year and in 2018.

The Fed has policy meetings scheduled in early November and mid-December. Economists believe policymakers would avoid a rate hike in November in part because the meeting falls just days before the U.S. presidential election.

Markets are currently pricing in a less than 10% chance of a rate hike at November's meeting, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool. For December, odds stood at around 65%.

2. U.S. September Retail Sales Report

The Commerce Department will publish data on September retail sales at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT) Friday. The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.6% last month, after falling 0.3% in August. Core sales are forecast to inch up 0.4%, after declining 0.1% a month earlier.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

3. Fed Speakers

A handful of Fed policymakers are due to make public appearances that may offer insight into how divided they are about raising rates in the coming months.

On Monday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will speak on monetary policy and the economy at 10:00PM ET (2:00GMT on Tuesday).

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is to deliver comments at 11:00AM ET (15:00GMT) Tuesday.

On Wednesday, New York Fed President Bill Dudley speaks with the Business Council of New York State at 8:00AM ET (12:00GMT), while Kansas City Fed President Esther George speaks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Annual Payments Symposium at 9:40AM ET (13:40GMT).

Thursday sees Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari make public appearances.

Finally, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak on "macroeconomic research after the crisis" at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Annual Research Conference at 1:30PM ET (17:30GMT).

4. U.S. Q3 Earnings Season Kicks Off

Analysts expect third-quarter earnings will show a 0.7% decline from a year ago, while revenue for the past quarter is expected to have increased 2.5%, which would be the first year-over-year sales increase for S&P 500 companies since the end of 2014.

Earnings season unofficially kicks off Tuesday with Alcoa (NYSE:AA)'s quarterly results. The climax comes Friday with earnings from major banks Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and recently battered Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC).

5. China September Trade Data

China is to release September trade figures at around 02:00GMT on Thursday (10:00PM ET Wednesday). The report is expected to show that the country’s trade surplus widened to $53.0 billion last month from $52.0 billion in August.

Exports are forecast to have dropped 3.0% in September from a year earlier, following a decline of 2.8% a month ago, while imports are expected to rise 1.0%, after increasing 1.5% in August.

Additionally, on Friday, the Asian nation will publish data on September consumer and producer price inflation. The reports are expected to show that consumer prices rose 1.6% last month, while producer prices are forecast to fall by 0.3%.

Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/

The Week Ahead: 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar
 

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