zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Apr 17, 2017 8:48 AM
This week will be dominated by the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday. With the number of undecided voters remaining high, four candidates look set to fight for the two places in the second round on 7 May. On the data side, following China’s strong economic report, attention will focus on US industrial production growth on Tuesday. In the euro area, flash PMIs for April due on Friday could point to moderation. In the UK, retail sales (Friday) should have dropped in March as rising inflation eats into real income growth. On Friday, the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings also start.
In addition, there are a few scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials this week, including a speech by Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on Monday.
Focusing on the US, after lacklustre readings in January and February, industrial production data in March may finally have exhibited the kind of strength seen in the ISM factory index. Output readings early this year were held down by sharp declines in utilities output, which reflected unseasonably warm weather, but utilities output looks set to have jumped noticeably, which should help to drive the headline figure higher. Meanwhile, existing home sales may have climbed in March, although the expected gain was likely due in part to the unusually warm temperatures in February, which boosted demand in that month and may have propelling contract closings higher last month.
The key this week will be in France on Sunday where the first round of the French Presidential election takes place. Official exit polls are due at 8PM CET. The 11 candidates are then whittled down to two, with the second round runoff held two weeks later on 7 May. On the data front, it looks to be a quiet week. We expect softer numbers in Friday’s flash PMI release while consumer confidence should also moderate.
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