China concerns leave central banks in difficult spot

Fri Oct 9, 2015 11:57am EDT
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By Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) - The coming week will provide clues on whether the global economy is escaping from its lackluster growth rut, amid growing concerns of another downturn which central banks have few tools left to fight.

China has become the focal point for economists as they fear a hard landing there could send countries that have only just escaped from the doldrums reeling back into recession.

Beijing will publish September trade data on Tuesday and inflation on Wednesday and any significant deviation from expectations could set the tone for the week.

The deluge of data from China in coming weeks is likely to point to further weakness, reinforcing expectations Beijing will roll out more stimulus measures to ward off a sharper slowdown.

"After the past few turbulent weeks and continued concerns with regard to the world's second largest economy, the data will also attract great attention in view of GDP figures due out on October 19," said economists at DZ Bank.

In the euro zone, final inflation numbers for some member countries will be published during the week with the bloc's reading on Friday expected to confirm prices fell 0.1 percent annually last month.

Since March the European Central Bank has been pumping 60 billion euros a month into the economy as part of its battle to drive up inflationary pressures but the program has so far failed to spark price rises.

Expectations are that it will eventually have to be extended beyond its planned completion date.   Continued...

A cargo ship waits to be loaded with shipping containers at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, September 1, 2015.  REUTERS/Stringer