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Global Economy Week Ahead: U.S. GDP, ECB and Bank of Japan Meetings

22 Apr 2018 7:00 pm
By WSJ Staff 

The central banks of the eurozone, Japan and Turkey will make policy decisions this week, while the U.S. will see its first reading on gross domestic product for the first three months of the year.

WEDNESDAY: Turkey's central bank releases a policy statement. In mid-April, the Turkish lira fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar and euro. Around the same time, the country's prime minister said the central bank was responsible for past monetary policy decisions and would take necessary measures. Some analysts think the recently announced early elections in Turkey increase the probability of rate increases in the coming months.

THURSDAY: The Commerce Department releases March data on orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods. In February, orders rose at the best pace in eight months, in part because of an uptick in business investment, which hit the highest level since 2014. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect a 1.6% increase in orders for March.

Signs of a slowdown in the eurozone economy likely will play a central part in the European Central Bank's discussions ahead of its policy announcement Thursday. Officials pay close attention to IHS Markit's composite Purchasing Managers Index as a timely measure of activity, and economists expect that to point to a further easing of momentum in April when the report is released Monday. The measure is seen falling to 54.8 from 55.2 in March.

FRIDAY: The Bureau of Economic Analysis releases first-quarter economic growth data for the U.S. Last year's fourth-quarter gross domestic product rose at a 2.9% annual rate, exceeding economists expectations at the time of the third revision. Growth in this year's first quarter is expected to come in weaker after months of soft consumer spending. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal project a 1.8% GDP growth figure for the quarter.

The Bank of Japan releases a policy statement and quarterly outlook report, as economists and investors have been focusing on when the central bank might scale back its aggressive easing policy. In early March, the central bank left its policy unchanged, but earlier in the year, Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said for the first time the central bank would consider tightening in the year starting in April 2019.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 22, 2018 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

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