Here Are The Key Market Moving Events For Friday, March 30, 2012

Europe Shopping Sale Discount Shoppers SpainCustumers walk past a display window of a store advertising sales on the first day of the winter sales season in Spain on January 7, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Retail sales are expected to be announced for the country on Friday.

Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Friday is a busy day for economic announcements, with markets focused on data out of Europe. German and Spanish retail sales, as well as British consumer confidence, will set the tone. In the U.S., traders will be waiting for the personal income and spending report. There are no major earnings announcements scheduled for the day.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • The U.K. starts things off at 7:01 p.m. EST on Thursday evening with March consumer confidence. Economists expect confidence to be unchanged in the Gfk Survey, remaining at -29.
  • A flurry of reports are expected out of Japan between 7:30 and 7:50 p.m. EST, including unemployment, CPI, and industrial production. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the jobless rate will remain at 4.6 per cent in February, with consumer prices flat for the month. Industrial production is expected to increase 1.3 per cent month-on-month in February.
  • German retail sales follow at 2:00 a.m. EST on Friday morning, with expectations for a 1.1 per cent sequential gain in February.
  • French producer prices will be announced at 2:45 a.m. EST. Economists polled by Bloomberg expect prices to increase 0.4 per cent in February.
  • At 3:00 a.m. EST, Denmark will release a final reading of fourth quarter gross domestic product. Consensus is for the headline number to signal 0.2 per cent growth. 
  • At the same time, Spain is scheduled to release real retail sales for February. Economists predict sales will be 6.4 per cent lower than they were a year ago. 
  • Eurozone CPI is expected to increase 2.5 per cent year-on-year when a report is issued at 5:00 a.m.
  • Portugal will report industrial production at 6:00 a.m. EST, which last increased 1.2 per cent in January. There is no consensus estimate for the February report. 
  • Attention shifts to the U.S. at 8:30 a.m. EST with announcements of personal income and spending. Economists forecast the two will increase by 0.4 and 0.6 per cent, respectively. 
  • Canadian GDP is also set to be announced at 8:30 a.m. EST, with expectations for a 0.1 per cent increase in January.
  • Closing out the day at 10:00 a.m. EST is a report from NAPM-Milwaukee on the regional business climate. The key index is expected to decline 60 basis points to 58. 

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