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THE WEEK AHEAD

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In the US, the main economic focus for the coming week will be September's industrial production and capacity utili...
In the US, the main economic focus for the coming week will be September's industrial production and capacity utilisation data. In August output rose sharply, reflecting a surge in car production. However, economists expect growth to have been much weaker again last month, signalled by significant job cuts across the manufacturing sector.

Despite the continued subdued nature of US economic activity, the level of housing starts is expected to have remained firm last month, following five consecutive monthly increases. It is the interest-rate sensitive sectors of the American economy such as housing that have been strengthening recently, responding to easier monetary conditions.

In Japan, the long-running deflationary trend in wholesale prices is expected to have come to an end last month, reflecting a jump in traded goods prices as the yen depreciated. Prices are expected to have grown about 0.7% m/m, leaving prices unchanged on an annual basis.

The Bundesbank meet on Thursday to discuss German interest rates. The authorities will want to see evidence that past rate cuts have boosted M3 money supply growth, and that consumer price growth remains subdued before considering a further rate cut. However, there has been some speculation that any rate cut will be brought forward if French franc weakness continues.
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