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Economic Calendar events to watch this week

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Shutterstock photo - - The economic calendar for upcoming week is packed with growth estimates from the euro zone and Japan as well as the latest U.K. jobs data and the Bank of England's quarterly inflation report. In the U.S., the week will bring a look at retail sales and the housing sector. Here are some key events to watch:

Euro zone Q1 GDP estimate

This will be the first look at growth during the first three months of the year and market expectations are for an expansion of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and a solid 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. Germany is expected to have made a strong start to the year with growth of 0.7%. If the data indicates that the recovery in the euro zone is gaining traction it could help to arrest the recent decline in the euro.

U.K. employment report

The latest U.K. jobs report is expected to show another decline in the unemployment rate, to 6.8% in the three months to March from 6.9% in the three months to February, while wage growth is expected to rise again. A strong reading would reinforce expectations for a U.K. rate hike in the early part of next year.

Bank of England inflation report

The BoE is to release its quarterly inflation report on the heels of the U.K. jobs report. Governor Mark Carney is expected to reiterate that low inflation means that rates can remain on hold for longer, while comments about the housing market will be closely watched amid fears that a property bubble is developing.

U.S. retail sales

The U.S. is to release data on April retail sales on Tuesday, with market watchers expecting a modest increase after strong gains in March. An increase in April would point to stronger consumer spending in the second quarter.

German ZEW

Economists think the economic sentiment index will show a slight decline this month, as the recent strength in the euro may have had a negative impact. The current conditions component of the index is expected to remain stable.

Japan Q1 GDP estimate

Investors will be looking ahead to Thursdays initial estimate on first quarter growth after the last three preliminary estimates fell short of expectations. A sales tax increase that went into effect on April 1st is likely to have increased consumption, which could bolster GDP.

U.S. housing starts

The U.S. is to release data on April housing starts on Friday. Forecasters think housing starts rose to an annual rate of 980,000, from 946,000 in March. Market watchers will be scrutinizing the report to see which sectors are showing the strongest growth, as starts of single family homes continue to lag behind starts of apartment buildings. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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