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Three cheers for the US consumer?

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  • Lockhart of the US Federal Reserve was pointing out that a single employment report is unlikely to change US monetary policy (a comment that can be interpreted in two different ways, of course). The Fed's Fisher and Plosser are speaking today.
  • US retail sales should show a strong inclination to visit the mall into the end of the year, but weaker auto sales reducing the headline measure to 1%. Nonetheless the retail sales in Q4 2013 give upside risk to GDP forecasts, and are likely to show around 4% real annualised growth.
  • Japanese bank lending increased again, though not to a level that economists would judge consistent (or even close to consistent) with the government's growth and inflation objectives. The increased bank lending has also coincided with a record propensity for Japanese firms to invest outside Japan.
  • The Euro area has French and Finnish consumer price inflation (consumer prices are also due in the UK and Sweden). ECB board member designate Lautenschlaeger was sounding traditionally Teutonic in her comments on monetary policy yesterday (warning on asset bubbles arising from low rates).

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.