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The Week Ahead: Happy New Year

We have another holiday-shortened trading week with most markets closed for New Year’s Day on Monday.

The US will report unemployment numbers for December. It is expected to show that the number of people out of work remains at its lowest for 16 years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that high unemployment amongst teenagers could take some of the gloss off the headline numbers.

China will report those closely-watched purchasing managers’ indices. While, the economy is still expanding, the fall in the manufacturing PMI has not gone unnoticed. In November it fell to 50.8, which was the lowest reading since June.

Japan will report PMI numbers too. Unlike China, Japan’s manufacturers are riding the crest of a wave. The recent weakness of the yen appears to be benefitting Japan’s exporters. The flash manufacturing PMI for December was a new 46-month high.

Indonesia will report inflation numbers. In November, consumer prices rose 3.3% year-on-year, which was lower than expected. It was also the lowest inflation rate since December last year.

Finally, Singapore will report advance GDP numbers for the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, the Singapore economy grew 5.2% year-on-year, which was up from 2.9% in the second quarter. Singapore could end 2017 on a high note, with manufacturing leading the charge.

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