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Monday November 22, 2010 - 09:38:58 GMT
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Economics Weekly -Decision time for Ireland

Economics Weekly 22 November 2010

 

Decision time for Ireland

 

Financial markets remain pre-occupied with developments in the euro-zone, where negotiations have been ongoing between the Irish government, European Commission, ECB and IMF on new measures to support the Irish banks. While it is not a foregone conclusion that Ireland will choose to make use of this facility, recent movements in Irish government bonds suggest that markets anticipate such an outcome. Ireland’s 10-year bond yield spread over German bunds has narrowed from 580bp early last week.

 

In terms of euro-zone data, this week sees the publication of a range of forward looking business surveys. At the national level comes Germany’s Ifo business climate index for November, where we look for a modest deterioration (to 107.4, from 107.6) based on a weaker expectations component. Recent activity in Germany can be characterised by a healthy net export performance and firmer household consumption, though fiscal consolidation and volatility in euro area long-term interest rates, represent a potential drag further out. We note that recent German purchasing managers’ data seem to have captured the relatively brighter, contemporaneous, picture. Aggregate euro area PMI data are also published this week, where we envisage a modest improvement to 54.3 and 53.0 in manufacturing and services, respectively. Other data released include preliminary German CPI for November and eurozone M3 money supply, where we see private lending growth steady at 1.2% in the year to October.

 

In the US, this week sees the second estimate of Q3 GDP, where we look for annualised growth to be revised up to 2.4% from the preliminary estimate of 2.0% reported a month ago. This is still too weak and is likely to feature prominently in the list of concerns highlighted in the FOMC’s November policy minutes later on Tuesday. Meanwhile, US housing market conditions remain uncertain. We look for existing home sales to moderate slightly in October to 4.5 million units, following September’s surprise upward bounce. US mortgage rates are currently hovering near historical lows but credit availability is still constrained. As for new home sales, our forecast stands at 300,000 units versus 307,000 previously. Risks appear to our projection skewed to the downside after last week’s particularly poor housing starts figures (see chart). Other US data this week includes durable goods orders, Michigan consumer confidence and initial jobless claims. On durable goods, we envisage a pull-back in total orders (to - 0.8% m/m) in October, following September’s sharp (3.5%) increase. But the ex-transport measure is a less volatile series and here we expect a 1.0% m/m rise. This broadly chimes with observations from the Fed on an upward trend in business spending.

 

In the UK, after a busy stretch which included the publication of the Inflation Report, MPC Minutes, retail sales and inflation data, the calendar is very light this week. The only release of market significance is the second estimate of Q3 GDP where we look for an unchanged 0.8% q/q reading. That being said, however, there is a decent chance of revisions to the GDP numbers as the Office for

National Statistics incorporates into its calculations the latest data on monthly output in construction (where growth over the course of early 2010 has recently been revised lower) and services (which has seen some very volatile data during the summer).

 

Economic Research

 

 

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Economic Research, 10 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7AE, Switchboard: 0207 626 1500. www.lloydstsbcorporatemarkets.com Bloomberg: LLOY<GO>

 

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