Upcoming Events to Watch
Feb. 1 - Germany will release its PMI Manufacturing Index data, which will provide insight into the country's manufacturing and export sectors. In December, the index fell to 46.0 from 46.8 points, signaling further contraction in its manufacturing sector. Traders will be watching for a higher reading to signal a potential recovery during January 2013.
The European Monetary Union will release its HICP Flash at the same time, providing insight into the entire eurozone's inflationary prospects. While the December figure stabilized at 2.2% over 2011 figures, traders will be watching for higher numbers, potentially signaling some relief in the euro's valuation - a factor that could derail the recovery.
The U.S. will report its ISM Manufacturing Index and Employment Situation, which will provide insight into the country's manufacturing sector and the jobs it's creating. In December, index came in with a reading of 50.7, versus 49.5 in November, reflecting a growth in new orders and sustained expansion moving into 2013 after the budget deal was reached.
Feb. 12 - Britain will release its Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index data, which will provide insights into inflationary prospects in the country. While inflation remained at 2.7% in December for a third straight month, many economists expect the figure to moderate throughout the year, setting market expectations quite high.
Feb. 13 - The European Monetary Union will release its industrial production data, which will provide insight into the region's manufacturing sector - a key jobs indicator. In November, industrial output in the eurozone fell for a third straight month to a worse-than-expected 0.3% monthly decline, signaling further weakness in the region.
Feb. 14 - France, Germany, Italy and the European Monetary Union will all report their GDP data, providing tremendous insight into the health of the eurozone economy. While many of these economies remain in recession, traders will be watching closely for any signals of a recovery, although the indicator tends to be a lagging one.
Feb. 15 - Britain will report its retail sales, which will provide insight into consumer health, and it could be a leading indicator for other important metrics. Many economists expect consumer spending to be depressed again, given stubborn unemployment, government tax hikes and a secular shift to online purchasing versus brick-and-mortar sales.
Feb. 18 - The Bank of Japan will release its MPB Minutes, providing insight into future monetary policy actions. Traders will be closely watching this release, as the central bank is under pressure from politicians to reduce the yen's valuation in order to encourage exports, which could mean further interest rate cuts.
Feb. 20 - Britain will release its Labor Market Report, providing key insights into the country's employment situation. In December, unemployment claims among Britons declined unexpectedly, raising the prospects of a labor market recovery. But, many economists remain skeptical, making this number a key figure to watch for traders.
Feb. 27 - Britain will report its GDP figures, which will give traders insight into the economy's overall health. In December, Britain's economy expanded less than previously estimated amid a wider-than-expected budget deficit. As a result, traders will be closely watching this figure for any signs of improvement.
Feb. 28 - Japan will release its industrial production report, providing insight into the health of its manufacturing economy. With a new stimulus package being introduced, traders will be watching for improvements over a number that slowed by 1.6% in November 2012.
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