Tensions are high around the world, global growth is low, while oil prices boomerang amidst the Iran clash.
- The U.S. housing market is expected to continue its strong performance. Lower mortgage rates, easier financial conditions, and a solid labor market are pushing up demand for housing. However, supply and labor constraints will keep a lid on sales.
- Retail sales are expected to have accelerated somewhat in December versus November, as a late Thanksgiving likely pushed holiday shopping into December. Consumption should drive Q4 GDP growth, but the pace will slow compared with Q3.
- EZ inflation is set to remain below the ECB’s target in December. The drag from energy on the Y/Y growth rate will be removed this month, as the negative base effects subside, but the ECB will likely remain on hold.
- China’s trade balance is set to increase as both exports and imports are expected to rise.
- A Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to travel to the U.S. on January 13 to sign the ‘Phase One’ partial trade deal between the U.S. and China.