Inflation is the focus this week with a U.S. report on consumer prices and Federal Reserve Chairman

Jerome Powell’s
testimony on Capitol Hill.


China’s exports, a key engine of the country’s economic growth, are expected to increase at a robust, albeit slower, pace in June. The deceleration is likely due to the Covid-19 resurgence in the country’s biggest export hub. Economists estimate imports also eased, leaving the trade surplus flat at $45.5 billion last month.

The U.S. consumer-price index is expected to post another significant gain in June, underscoring a run-up in inflation as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve in a report out Friday said supply chain bottlenecks for goods such as cars and appliances are creating inflation that could be “more lasting but likely still temporary.”


Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver the central bank’s semiannual report to Congress on the state of the U.S. economy. Lawmakers at hearings Wednesday and Thursday are likely to seek details on the Fed’s thinking about employment, inflation—and its plans to pare back bond purchases and ultralow interest rates meant to spur growth.


China’s second-quarter gross domestic product is forecast to grow 7.9% from one year earlier, a slowdown from the 18.3% pace in the first quarter as base effects related to the pandemic fade. Several economists lowered their 2Q GDP forecast recently after domestic demand missed expectations in both April and May, along with the Covid-19 problems at China’s export hub.

U.S. industrial production, a measure of output at manufacturers, mines and utilities, likely rose again in June. Manufacturing, the biggest component of the monthly index, has faced competing forces of strong demand and supply-chain constraints.


Bank of Japan
is expected to maintain the current easing program at its policy-setting meeting as the economic outlook remains uncertain with a new Covid state of emergency set to begin in Tokyo on Monday. The bank is scheduled to release its latest forecast for the economy and prices and also announce the outline of its new lending facility for fighting climate change.

U.S. retail sales dropped in May as consumers cut back on purchases of big-ticket items and rotated more of their money toward in-person services. Economists forecast that trend continued in June and estimate another monthly decline—led by falling auto purchases—in the measure of consumer spending.