The week for the euro dollar currency pair starts very quietly with no economic news for either Europe or the US, with the only event this afternoon being a speech by FOMC member Dennis Lockhart, who is due to speak about the US economy at the Association for Financial Professionals Corporate Risk Forum, in Orlando. Audience questions are expected at the event. If the statement is more hawkish than expected then this will be good for the US dollar.

Tuesday sees the German IFO number released in the morning, followed by the CB Consumer Confidence numbers in the afternoon, and the day rounds off with a  speech by Federal Reserve  Chairman Bernanke. The German data is a level of a composite index based on surveyed manufacturers, builders, wholesalers, and retailers and is a highly respected survey, due to it’s large sample size and historic correlation with German and wider Eurozone economic conditions. It tends to create a significant market impact upon release, so watch for this tomorrow morning in the currency pair. If the actual is better than forecast then this will be good for the euro, with a forecast of 83.2 against 83.0 last time. This is generally considered to be a leading indicator of economic health – businesses react quickly to market conditions, and changes in their sentiment can be an early signal of future economic activity such as spending, hiring, and investment. The survey size is around 7000 thousand which is why it is so important. The CB ( Conference Board) data is another composite index like the German IFO, and is based on a survey of around 5000 households who are asked to rate the relative level of current and future economic conditions including labor availability, business conditions, and overall economic situation. Again if the number are better than expected then this is generally a good sign for the currency, in this case the US dollar. Finally on Tuesday we have Ben Bernanke speaking ( again!!) to the Senate Banking Committee – as with many other statements this is in twp parts – a pre-prepared speech followed by a question and answer session which is often when we see the reaction to any revealing insights into his thoughts on the economy.

Wednesday is mainly focused on new in the US. Bernanke is speaking again, this time to the House Financial Services Committee, and earlier we have the Exisiting Home Sales figures, with a forecast of 4.78M against a previous of 4.74M and is the number of homes sold in the previous month. If the actual is better than forecast then this will help the US dollar.

Thursday is once again all about the US data in the afternoon ( UK time). First we have Core Durable Goods, which is the change in the total value of new purchase orders placed with manufacturers for durable goods, excluding transportation items.The Core data is therefore thought to be a better gauge of purchase order trends. If the actual is better than forecast this will be good for the US dollar. At the same time we have Unemployment Claims which is the number of people who have been added for the week to the unemployment register. The forecast is for 630,000 against a previous of 627,000, so the numbers are getting ever larger!  Later in the afternoon we have the New Homes Sales,which is the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month. The data tends to have more impact when it’s released ahead of Existing Home Sales because the reports are tightly correlated, but is generally considered to be a leading indicator since the effects can be felt throughout the economy. If home sales are strong then this can affect all industries and sectors from finance to retail sales.

Finally on Friday we have one of the big numbers – Preliminary GDP ( Gross Domestic Product) – which is guaranteed to move the currencies, and is the annualized change in the value of all goods and services produced by the economy. If the actual is better than forecast then this is good for the currency, in this case the US dollar as it is the broadest measure of economic activity, and is therefore considered an excellent gauge for the future.