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Chinese and US retail sales data distorted?

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  • The reserve Bank of New Zealand raised rates a quarter point, in a widely anticipated move, and signalled that it intended to raise rates in a further steady process of normalisation. For the larger central banks of the OECD, the race is probably between Australia and the UK as the next to raise.
  • Markets await Chinese retail sales and industrial production for February (distorted data, not worth waiting for). Premier Li gave a speech that dismissed debt fears, not because debt problems would not arise but because the government could handle them.
  • Japanese core machinery goods orders came in strong (after previous weakness), raising hopes from some of better capital spending. The problem is that when Japanese companies do invest, they are increasingly inclined to invest outside of Japan.
  • Fed vice-Chair nominee Fischer gave bland prepared remarks for his confirmation hearing (advocating an accommodative policy without defining what an accommodative policy actually meant). We get more today. Retail sales are likely to be weather affected.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.