US Q1 GDP second
estimate and German IFO survey feature
We are expecting a small
upward revision to US Q1 GDP in the second
estimate based on a slightly more positive contribution from net exports.
However, the depth of GDP contraction will have remained historically steep,
see chart 1. Also this week, we are looking for a second consecutive monthly
rise in the key German IFO business survey. This mirrors other European surveys
that show the regionâ€™s recession is easing, but output still contracting, see
chart 2. In addition, a plethora of speeches by ECB President Trichet and
members including Weber, will be interpreted for comments on incoming data and
clues about the likely impact of economic developments on economic policy. In
addition, the US Treasury has a heavy auction
schedule of $101bn of notes, while the outcome of the UK DMOs Â£1.25bn sale of
1.25% gilts due 2032 will be closely monitored following financial market
concern over S&Pâ€™s medium-term debt downgrade. UK and US markets are
closed on Monday.
ô€‚„ UK data will continue to be
perused for signs of the economy stabilising - house prices and the CBI distributive
trades & GfK consumer confidence surveys are all due. The market consensus
forecast is for the Nationwide house price index to have fallen close to 1% on
a monthly basis in May, compared with a decline of 0.4% in April. Whereas this
is an improvement compared with the 12-month average trend of -1.4% and may
well provide limited evidence that house price falls may be steadying, annual
prices are still dropping at a hefty pace of -13.7%. While last weekâ€™s stronger
than expected official retail sales data prepares the way for a less
pessimistic CBI distributive trades survey outcome - we expect an index level
of -12 in May, significantly better than the 12-month average of -31, the
figure is likely to be worse than +3 in April. Finally, the GfK consumer
confidence index may have worsened to -30 in May from -27 in April, indicating
that household spending may fall for the third consecutive quarter in Q2, after
1% quarterly contractions in both Q1 and in Q4 2008.
ô€‚„ Q1 annualised GDP second estimate is the key US economic data release
of the week - it may show a contraction of -5.5% compared with -6.1% in the
preliminary release, due to an upward revision in the contribution of net external
trade. Durable goods orders, excluding transport, due Thursday, are notorious
for backward revisions and any changes in the monthly series will impact on the
Q1 GDP second release outcome. Other data may enhance the view that there are
small economic improvements underway in the last few months â€“ consumer confidence,
existing & new home sales and the Chicago PMI manufacturing survey may have
strengthened. Also important, the weekly US initial jobs claim figure may be
lower again this week, but with the jobless rate still rising, continuing claims,
the total number of people filing for unemployment benefit, could break the
ô€‚„ We expect German Q1 GDP (final) to confirm a massive contraction
of 3.8% in the quarter and 6.9% on an annual basis, as investment plummeted and
exports dropped due to contracting markets and the strong euro. However, more
recent data has improved and the key IFO index of business confidence index may
rise for a second consecutive month in May, after increasing off a 26-year low
last month as significant monetary and fiscal stimulus may have started to ease
the recession. This is in line with other eurozone business surveys, such as
the PMIs, that portray a similar story. Also important, EU-16 industrial orders
which have been contracting at a massive annual rate of almost 34.5% may rise
on a monthly basis in March due to stronger German data. Despite some early
signs of the recession easing, the EU-16 unemployment rate may have risen to 9%
in April from 8.9% a month earlier and is likely to be very close to 10% by end
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