Eurozone GDP, US retail sales in focus

The focus in the coming week will be on Euro zone GDP data and US retail sales.

Eurozone growth figures will be updated for the fourth quarter, and are expected to confirm the ECB’s view that the recovery remains disappointingly lacklustre. A 0.3-4% growth rate will round off a year in which the single-currency area grew by just 1.6%.

According to recent Euro zone PMI survey data, inflationary pressures appear to have extended into 2016. This persistent low inflation has heightened the chances of the European Central Bank taking further action to stimulate the economy during its March policy meeting.

Important data out of the US consists of retail sales. These figures will be watched for evidence that consumers are helping to sustain the upturn in the US economy. .Towards the end of last year, retail sales growth slowed, with spending dipping slightly in December. However low oil prices may have freed up disposable incomes. January looks set to see a rebound, but any signs of weakness will send another signal that the Fed will pause on further rate hikes.

Other key data releases include German, French, Italian and Eurozone industrial figures, as well as German trade and inflation data plus industrial production and construction output data for the UK.

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