Economics Weekly by Lloyds TSB

It is a busy week for data in the US, which should provide some important clues about the pace of the overall economic contraction in the first quarter of 2009.

It is a busy week for data in the US, which should provide some important clues about the pace of the overall economic contraction in the first quarter of 2009. First quarter corporate earnings releases will
also be informative and are likely to influence equity markets this week. There will also be considerable interest in the latest inflation data, which may show annual US CPI inflation turned negative for
the first time since 1955.

A quiet week for data in the UK is headed by the RICS house price survey on Wednesday and the BRC retail sales monitor on Thursday. In the euro zone, we expect confirmation that annual EU-16 CPI inflation fell to a record low of 0.6% in March. Results of government bond auctions in the US, UK and Germany could have a significant impact on secondary yields, as markets gauge the appetite for sales and purchases. There are several prominent central bank speakers this week, including Fed chairman Bernanke and ECB president Trichet.

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