Japan Data On Tap For Friday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft of data on Friday, setting the pace for a busy day in Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are December numbers for unemployment, industrial production, retail sales, construction orders and housing starts – as well as January figures for Tokyo-area inflation.

The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 2.3 percent from 2.2 percent in November, with the job-to-applicant ratio holding steady at 1.57. Industrial production is ripped to add 0.7 percent on month and fall 3.6 percent on year after sliding 1.0 percent on month and 8.2 percent on year in the previous month.

Retail sales are forecast to have added 1.2 percent on month and fallen 1.7 percent on year after adding 4.5 percent on month and losing 2.1 percent on year in November. Large retailer sales are called lower by an annual 2.5 percent after slipping 1.8 percent a month earlier.

Housing starts are tipped to tumble 11.8 percent on year following the 12.7 percent plunge a month earlier. Construction orders were down 1.2 percent on year in November.

Overall Tokyo inflation is expected to add 0.7 percent on year, slowing from 0.9 percent in December. Core CPI is called steady at 0.8 percent on year.

China will see January results for its manufacturing, non-manufacturing and composite PMIs. The manufacturing PMI is expected to see a score of 50, down from 50.2 in December. The non-manufacturing PMI is pegged at 53.0, down from 53.5 a month earlier. The composite is expected to come in at 53.1, down from 54.3 a month earlier.

Australia will provide December figures for private sector credit and Q4 numbers for producer prices. Private sector credit was up 0.1 percent on month and 2.3 percent on year in November, while producer prices gained 0.4 percent on quarter and 1.6 percent on year in Q3.

Thailand will release December data for imports, exports and trade balance; in November, imports were worth $17.61 billion and exports were at $19.57 billion for a trade surplus of $1.96 billion.

South Korea will see December numbers for industrial production and retail sales. In November, industrial production was down 0.5 percent on month and 0.3 percent on year, while retail sales advanced 3.0 percent on month and 3.7 percent on year.

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