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  • Cause for wild celebration in Tokyo as the Japanese economy failed to grow at all in the fourth quarter on revised GDP numbers (no growth is good news in Japan). Perhaps more importantly bank lending continues to grow slowly, which means there is a chance monetary policy might work.
  • The US consumer's inclination to borrow money and head to the shopping mall appears to be undimmed - both the monthly consumer credit numbers for January and the quarterly flow of funds data showed consumer credit growth.
  • Retail spending in the US helps support our contention that the employment report will be stronger than the market expects today. we see retail employment gaining, and while retail sector jobs are not necessarily high paid growth here may help to reduce low skilled unemployment.
  • The ECB's Draghi offered few surprises yesterday as he presented the conclusions of a divided ECB. He sticks to the view that Euro area prosperity is just around the corner. While growth should improve later this year, trend growth remains a far distant prospect.

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