We expect US retail sales to have increased 0.2% m/m in February after declining 0.8% in January. Gasoline prices ground higher in February, which boosted nominal sales, while weak auto unit sales data suggest a significant decline in auto sales in February (we estimate -0.8%). Outside these volatile components, we estimate that core retail sales (excluding gasoline, cars and sales of building materials) increased 0.3% m/m compared with 0.2% in January. The unusually cold weather in the latter part of February is likely to have dampened sales in general and we expect retail sales to gain momentum in coming months.
In the euro area, industrial production for January will be released and we forecast an increase of 0.3%. We expect the pickup in industrial production to continue on the back of stronger domestic demand and the weakening of the currency, which supports exports.
In Sweden focus is on the labour market.
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