"Last week’s modest slate of economic data was largely overshadowed by the big gain in the US dollar, big declines in commodity prices, and the economic and interest rate outlooks provided by the Federal Reserve and the European Central banks (ECB) – even as both entities left their key policy interest rates unchanged. The data that was released last week does suggest that real GDP growth in Q3 2008 could be negative.

This week, financial markets will digest key reports on the U.S. export sector – the strongest area of the economy over the past 18 months – and on retail sales and consumer price inflation in July".

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