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Production and prices

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Japan's elections loom over the weekend, with markets paying less attention than they should (perhaps) given the relative importance of the economy. Opinion polls predict a government victory. A two thirds majority may raise questions about whether constitutional or economic reform will take precedence.

Chinese production data was a little weaker than expected (7.2% yoy growth, so not exactly devastatingly weak). Euro area industrial production data is due today too. The sharp move in the dollar may have an impact on the reported value of production (depending on where it is being sold).

Spain is expected to display deflation today (in consumer prices - not in unit labour costs, which would be competitiveness enhancing). Italy should scrape a positive number, however. German wholesale prices are also due.

The US is offering up Michigan consumer sentiment which should give a strong reading (markets may anticipate that in the wake of the retail sales data). Gasoline prices should drag down the headline producer price inflation, but the underlying rate is expected to be stable.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.