U.S. GDP, Ukraine, Mobile World: Week Ahead Feb. 24-March 1

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy may have grown less in the fourth quarter than initially projected, while consumer confidence probably held near a five-month high.

Germany, the U.K. and Brazil will also release growth figures this week.

The Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona, while HSBC Holdings Plc, Home Depot Inc. and Baidu Inc. are among companies reporting earnings.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton travels to Ukraine amid the country’s political crisis, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government faces confidence votes in parliament, and the U.S. and South Korea begin annual military drills.


-Ashton in Ukraine. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton travels to Ukraine to meet party leaders and discuss how to resolve the country’s political crisis and stabilize its economy. Her visit comes amid pledges by the U.S., U.K. and Europe to help with foreign aid once a new cabinet is formed following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.

-Italy’s Premier Matteo Renzi will introduce his 16-member cabinet in a speech to parliament, which will be followed by confidence votes in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Senate vote expected about 22:00 (16:00 EST) in Rome.

-The Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona. Keynote speakers include International Business Machines Corp. CEO Ginni Rometty and Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Through Feb. 27.

-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s cabinet holds its first meeting in Scotland as his government steps up its campaign against a Scottish vote for independence in September’s referendum. Timing and location to be announced.

-China’s January property prices. In December, new-home prices in the country’s first-tier cities rose more than 15 percent, led by Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the south, as local property curbs failed to deter buyers. 09:30 in Beijing (2/23 20:30 EST).

-The U.S. and South Korea begin joint, annual military drills that in the past have fueled tensions with North Korea, which has denounced the exercises as a rehearsal for war.

-Energy 2020 Bloomberg Link conference. Speakers include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt. In Washington from 08:00.

-Barrick Gold Corp. and Rio Tinto Plc are among companies presenting at BMO Capital Markets’ Metals & Mining Conference. Almost 1,000 delegates are due to attend the event in Florida. Through Feb. 26.

-German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Jerusalem for two days of German-Israeli government talks. Timing to be determined.

-The European Commission publishes its agriculture forecast for February. 11:00 in London. (06:00 EST).

-Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and European Union Commissioner Stefan Fule are among the speakers at a conference organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In London from 08:45 (03:45 EST).

-ECONOMY: Taiwan industrial production (Jan.), South Korea department, discount store sales (Jan.), Euro-area inflation (Jan.), German Ifo business confidence (Feb.).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Israel rate decision.

-EARNINGS: HSBC Holdings Plc, Sina Corp.


-Home prices in 20 U.S. cities probably increased at a slower pace in December, economists project the S&P/Case-Shiller index will show. Smaller gains in property values will help make homes more affordable for some Americans and sustain the recovery in residential real estate. 09:00 EST in Washington.

-Confidence among U.S. consumers probably held close to a five-month high in February, a Conference Board report will show, according to economists. 10:00 EST in New York.

-The European Commission will publish its winter economic forecast. European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn will hold a press conference at 13:45 CET in Strasbourg (07:45 EST).

-German GDP. Final fourth quarter figures are released at 08:00 CET (02:00 EST).

-IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks on the global economy and innovation at Stanford University, California. 12:00 (15:00 EST).

-Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks in a state-of-the-nation debate in parliament. From 12:00 CET in Madrid (06:00 EST).

-Consumer Reports holds a National Press Club event to announce the findings for its annual auto issue, which may be influential in U.S. car buyers’ purchasing decisions. 12:00 EST in Washington.

-The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, the Iraqi electricity minister and officials from Korea Gas Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc will attend the Iraq Energy Projects 2014 conference in Dubai. 09:00 (00:00 EST). Through Feb. 27.

-F.O. Licht’s Sugar and Ethanol Asia 2014 conference in Thailand will look at the global outlook for production and trade. 09:00 in Bangkok (02/24 21:00 EST). Through Feb. 26.

-ECONOMY: Hong Kong trade (Jan.), South Africa GDP (fourth quarter), Italy consumer confidence (Feb.), Portugal budget report (Jan.), French manufacturing confidence (Feb.), BBA Loans for House Purchase in U.K. (Jan.).

-EARNINGS: Home Depot Inc., Macy’s Inc., Toll Brothers Inc., Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Vivendi SA, Ferrovial SA, BASF SE, Fresenius Medical Care AG, Fresenius SE.

-European soccer’s Champions League round of 16 continues, with Greece’s Olympiacos hosting three-time winner Manchester United. 21:45 local time (14:45 EST). Last year’s runner-up, Borussia Dortmund, plays at Zenit St. Petersburg. 21:00 local time (12:00 EST).


-Sales of new U.S. homes probably declined for a third-straight month in January as bad weather limited demand while higher borrowing costs and prices reduced affordability, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. The Commerce Department releases the figures at 10:00 EST in Washington.

-U.K. GDP. The U.K. statistics office publishes its second estimate of fourth-quarter GDP. The initial estimate showed the economy expanded 0.7 percent, ending the best year since 2007. The Bank of England predicts growth of 0.9 percent. Data on business investment and the index of services will be released at the same time. 09:30 in London (04:30 EST).

-Brazil’s interest-rate decision. Banco Central do Brasil may raise borrowing costs, currently at 10.50 percent, for an eighth-straight meeting as inflation has remained above the 4.5 percent mid-point of policy makers’ target range since August 2010. Economists are divided over whether to expect a quarter-or half-point increase. After 18:00 in Brasilia (16:00 EST).

-Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate, speaks at the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus on a topic to be announced. 20:30 EST in Florida.

-NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Timing to be determined.

-South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presents the national budget for the fiscal year through March 2015 in parliament. Cape Town at 14:00 local time (07:00 EST).

-Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang will present his budget for the fiscal year ending March 2015. He wrote on his blog that the government should gradually cut back on one-time relief measures, including tax rebates and rate exemptions. 11:00 in Hong Kong (2/25 22:00 EST).

-French President Francois Hollande starts an official state visit to Ivory Coast. Through Feb. 28.

-ECONOMY: Hong Kong GDP (4Q), Taiwan unemployment (Jan.), French total jobseekers (Jan.).

-EARNINGS: Lowe’s Cos., TJX Cos., Target Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Vale SA, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., SJM Holdings Ltd., Baidu Inc., Holcim Ltd., Endesa SA, Repsol SA, Abertis Infraestructuras SA, Airbus Group NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Bouygues SA, Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG.

-Chelsea, the 2012 Champions League winner, plays at Galatasaray in Turkey in the final 16. 21:45 local time (14:45 EST). Germany’s Schalke hosts record nine-time European champion Real Madrid at 20:45 CET (14:45 EST).


-ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann delivers the opening speech at the Bundesbank’s Symposium on ’Financial Stability and the Role of Central Banks.’ ECB President Mario Draghi will also speak at the Frankfurt event. Starts at 14:00 CET (08:00 EST).

-German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses U.K. lawmakers and meets with Prime Minister David Cameron during a trip to London. Merkel is likely to reiterate calls for Britain to stay in the European Union. Timing to be announced.

-Brazil GDP. Latin America’s largest economy probably rebounded in the fourth quarter from its first contraction in two years, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. 09:00 in Rio de Janeiro (07:00 EST).

-Philippine President Benigno Aquino makes a state visit to Malaysia, his first since taking office. Aquino will meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and attend a state banquet. The visit comes ahead of the expected signing of a peace deal between the Philippine government and a Muslim rebel group in the country’s southern Mindanao province.

-Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces possible charges over a subsidized rice-purchasing program. The opposition, which is seeking Yingluck’s removal, alleges the program benefited politicians more than farmers. Timing to be determined.

-The International Grains Council publishes its monthly crop report. Global wheat inventories may have been smaller than forecast last month because of stronger export demand. 15:00 in London. (10:00 EST).

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its weekly natural gas supply report. 10:30 EST in Washington.

-ECONOMY: U.S. initial jobless claims (weekly), Bloomberg consumer comfort (weekly), Australia private capital expenditure (4Q), South Korea current account balance (Jan.), Turkey consumer confidence (Feb.), South Africa producer-price inflation (Jan.), Swiss GDP (fourth quarter), Spain GDP (fourth quarter), Italy business confidence (Feb.), German unemployment (Feb.), German CPI (Feb.).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Egypt rate decision.

-EARNINGS: Salesforce.com Inc., Gap Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Best Buy Co., YRC Worldwide Inc., Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB, City Developments Ltd., China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., Koninklijke Ahold NV, Allianz SE, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Telefonica SA, Essilor International SA, Reed Elsevier Plc, WPP Plc, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, GDF Suez SA, British American Tobacco Plc.


-The U.S. economy probably expanded at a slower pace in the fourth quarter than the 3.2 percent rate initially projected as consumers tempered spending, a survey of economists showed. The Commerce Department will report at 08:30 EST in Washington.

-President Barack Obama speaks at the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee. Topics may include the 2014 mid-term elections, the Affordable Care Act, and the proposed rewrite of immigration laws. In Washington, timing to be determined.

-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivers the keynote speech at Bundesbank’s Symposium on Financial Stability and the Role of Central Banks. 11:45 CET (05:45 EST). Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will also speak on a panel about “extending the reach of regulation beyond banks.”

-Canada’s GDP data for the fourth quarter may show annualized economic growth at 2.5 percent, down from 2.7 percent in the prior three-month period, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz predicts business investment and exports will take over from consumer spending as the main growth drivers. 08:30 EST in Ottawa.

-Japan reports January national inflation after core consumer prices rose in December from a year earlier by the most in more than five years. 08:30 in Tokyo (02/27 18:30 EST).

-Japan reports January industrial production after data last week showed the economy grew at less than half the expected rate in the fourth quarter. 08:50 in Tokyo (02/27 18:50 EST).

-Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, publishes its annual report for 2013, providing investment returns and details on shifts in its $840 billion portfolio. 10:00 CET (04:00 EST).

-Britain’s National Archives release previously secret files relating to the MI5 security service. 00:01 in London (02/27 19:01 EST).

-The anti-European Union U.K. Independence Party holds its spring conference as it bids to top the polls in May’s European Parliament elections. UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks at 12:00 in Torquay, southwest England (07:00 EST).

-ECONOMY: South Korea industrial output (Jan.), Japan jobless rate (Jan.), Japan retail trade (Jan.), India GDP (fourth quarter), Turkey foreign trade balance (Jan.), South Africa trade balance (Jan.), Swiss KOF leading indicator (Feb.); Spain CPI (Feb.), Italian unemployment (Jan.), Italian CPI (Feb.), U.K. GfK Consumer Confidence (Feb.).

-EARNINGS: Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., Pearson Plc, Bayer AG, Erste Group Bank AG, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA.

-SOVEREIGN RATING UPDATES: Denmark (Fitch), Denmark (DBRS), European Financial Stability Facility (DBRS), Germany (Moody’s), Luxembourg (Moody’s), Slovakia (Fitch), Ukraine (Fitch).


-China announces its official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for February. The manufacturing gauge fell to a six-month low in January as output and orders slowed amid government efforts to rein in excessive credit. 09:00 in Beijing (02/28 20:00 EST).

-The National Hockey League’s four-game Stadium Series concludes with the Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field in Chicago.

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