Economy Week Ahead: Inflation, Exports and Retail Sales – The Wall Street Journal


Data this week will offer more insight into the economy’s performance at the end of 2020.


China’s consumer prices are expected to be unchanged from a year earlier in December. Prices fell in November, due to a pullback in pork prices amid increased supply. China’s producer-price index likely fell 0.8% on year, compared with a 1.5% drop in November, as the price of thermal coal picked up.


U.S. consumer prices are expected to increase only moderately in December. Inflation has been mild during much of the pandemic, reflecting weak demand for an array of services and some goods, though some economists expect it to pick up along with faster economic growth later this year.


China’s exports are forecast to increase 12.9% from a year earlier in December, a slowdown from November’s 21.1% surge, as another surge of coronavirus cases in Europe and the U.S. puts pressure on external demand for Chinese goods. Meanwhile, December import growth likely accelerated, leading to a largely stable trade surplus of $72 billion.

Germany will become the first large economy to release an official estimate of its gross domestic product in 2020, almost certainly recording the first contraction since 2009. The contraction is expected to be of roughly the same magnitude as in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, when GDP fell 5%.


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