Economic indicators to be released in the weak ahead will offer insight on Canadian inflation and U.S. economic activity for the final quarter of 2018.
The most important piece of economic news in Canada, says National Bank in a weekly report, is December’s consumer price index (Friday). A larger-than-normal drop in gas prices during the month could translate to a 0.5% month-over-month drop of the headline index, not seasonally adjusted, it says. The result would be a one-tick drop to the annual inflation rate, to 1.6%. Annualized core inflation may also have cooled one tick, to 1.8%, it says.
In comparison, U.S. inflation was down a tick last month: consumer price data released Friday indicated an annualized inflation rate of 1.9% in December. Annualized core inflation was flat at 2.2%, as core prices rose 0.2% in December for the third month in a row.
Other publications to be released include the Teranet–National Bank National Home Price Index and existing home sales.
In the U.S., additional economic data from December will be available to complete the picture for the last quarter, including industrial production, retail sales and housing starts. Industrial production might be flat, says the National Bank report, given that expansion in manufacturing will likely be offset by shrinking production in utilities and mining. Increases are expected in retails sales and housing starts, albeit only a modest increase for the latter.
Globally, economic releases include price data for Japan and trade balance numbers for China and the eurozone, as well as the latter’s industrial production.
On the political stage, the National Bank report says much attention will be focused on the British Parliament, where a vote will be held on Tuesday to decide the fate of Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
For more details, read the full report from National Bank.