Rates: Eyes on Bernanke
Periphery: Focus on Italy
Sterling stays under pressure
Graph of the week
Review: The Good & The Bad
US building permits rose for a third straight month in January. Housing starts increased by 1.8% M/M to 925 000, slightly above the expected 920 000.
Existing home sales
US existing home sales edged unexpectedly up in January. Existing home sales increased slightly, by 0.4% M/M, while the consensus was looking for a second straight decline.
NAHB housing market index
The US NAHB housing market index dropped unexpectedly in February. The index fell from 47 to 46, while a slight increase was forecast.
US housing starts dropped significantly in January, by 8.5% M/M to a total level of 890 000, while a more limited decline to 920 000 was expected.
Initial jobless claims
In the week ending the 16th of February, US initial jobless claims edged up again, from 342 000 to 362 000, while a more limited pick up was forecast.
Philadelphia Fed index
The Philly Fed index continued to disappoint in February. The headline index dropped from -5.8 to -12.5, while a return to positive territory was expected.
German ZEW survey
The ZEW economic sentiment index extended its impressive rebound in February, rising from 31.5 to 48.2, although only a limited jump was forecast.
German IFO indicator
The German IFO business climate indicator rose more than 3 points in February, due to strength in both the expectations and current assessment component.
European Commission’s consumer confidence improved only marginally in February. Consumer confidence rose from -23.9 to -23.6, while a rise to -23.2 was forecast.
The euro zone manufacturing PMI dropped marginally in February, from 47.9 to 47.8, while a pick up to 48.5 was expected.
Even more disappointing was the euro zone services PMI, which dropped from 48.6 to 47.3. The consensus was looking for a further pick-up to 49.0.