Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, October 12 – 18, 2015

Macro data points will provide clues to central bankers’ next moves; Wall Street earnings under the microscope; World Food Day spotlights global food security.

ECOSOC World Food Day Observance on the theme "Achieving food security in times of crisis."

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) World Food Day Observance on the theme “Achieving food security in times of crisis.” Secretary-General, Chair of the High-level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, make remarks. Speakers: Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, UN General Assembly President; Ms. Sylvie Lucas, President of the Economic and Social Council; Mr. Jacques Diouf, FAO Director-General; and FAO Goodwill Ambassadors nine-time Olympic gold medalist Mr. Carl Lewis, and Grammy award-winning singer Ms. Dionne Warwick.

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Trade data from China and fresh activity and inflation indicators from the U.S. and Europe will likely take a backseat to corporate earnings this coming week. After Deutsche Bank’s third-quarter loss announcement on Wednesday, analysts are going to be watching reports from U.S.–based banks for any signal that volatility has taken a toll on financial-sector company earnings.

Monday, October 12: September trade figures from Beijing will help shed light on China’s ongoing transition toward greater reliance on internal demand. August export data in Germany published Thursday revealed a sharp decline in shipments to the world’s largest developing economy while the U.S. trade deficit for the same month, reported Tuesday, widened in part on the back of a 3 percent increase in Chinese imports.

Tuesday, October 13: J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s third-quarter earnings announcement may hold clues as to how Wall Street trading powerhouses fared during the recent market turmoil. J.P. Morgan’s results, expected by analysts to register at a high single-digit year-over-year contraction in net income, will be followed by financial-sector peers Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Group on Wednesday and Wells Fargo & Co. on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 14: The U.S. Department of Commerce releases September retail sales figures. Expectations are riding high after August figures registered a 0.2 percent gain for the month and a gain of 2.2 percent versus the same period in 2014. Sales excluding automobiles climbed by 0.1 percent from July. While imports made cheaper by a strong dollar and low fuel costs have contributed to spending in recent months, the report this past week from Redbook Research, which analyzes retail patterns, indicated a slowdown in chain store sales last month.

Thursday, October 15: The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes September unemployment data. Consensus forecasts call for the nation’s central bank to cut rates further from already historic lows in the coming months. Stubbornly high unemployment in the mining-heavy Land Down Under, brought on in part by declining basic materials demand from China, will be a key data point for Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens and his colleagues in advance of the bank’s next monetary policy meeting.

Friday, October 16: Eurostat’s September inflation index will provide a deeper picture of the macroeconomic situation in the euro zone, adding to European Central Bank minutes, released October 8, that indicated concern over sluggish external demand signals. According to the report, ECB policymakers remain firm in determination to take further action, including the possibility of increased asset purchases, to spur healthy inflation in the common currency region if necessary.

Saturday October 17 and Sunday, October 18: World Food Day will be observed on Friday, with global events spanning the weekend to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The 2015 theme is “Social Protection and Agriculture” to highlight the relationship between social instability spurred by geopolitical turmoil and chronic food insecurity and poverty. The FAO today still pursues the goals laid out by John Boyd Orr, the organization’s first director-general and a pioneering Scottish doctor who was honored with a title as baron and a Nobel Peace Prize.