The eco calendar heats up today with the German ZEW survey, the US trade balance and NFIB small business optimism and the UK CPI inflation data and visible trade balance. Holland (bonds), Italy & Belgium (bills) and the US will tap the market and a whole range of Fed speakers will take the stage, while the ECB announces allotment in the 7-day and 1-month tender.
Last month, the German ZEW showed that sentiment among analysts and investors weakened for the first time in five months. The main reason was probably not located in Germany, where the economy continues to flourish, but external factors as the ECB signalling a first rate hike, the earthquake and nuclear crisis Japan might have deteriorated sentiment. This might have dampened sentiment further in April and therefore the German ZEW indicator is expected to drop from 14.1 to 11.3. We don’t exclude a downward surprise. In the US, the trade balance, is expected to show a narrowing in the deficit in February (from -$46.3B to -$44.0B) after the deficit widened sharply in January as imports rose significantly more than exports. The NFIB Small Business Optimism indicator is forecasted to show a slight improvement to 94.9 from 94.5 in March, but we see the risks on the downside of expectations. Finally in the UK, CPI inflation is forecasted to have stabilized at 4.4% Y/Y in March. We believe another upward surprise is not excluded as also the PPI data surprised on the upside of expectations, while also in the euro area HICP inflation surprised on the upside of expectations in March.