Japan is scheduled to release a batch of data on Friday, setting the pace for a busy day in Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are March numbers for unemployment, industrial production, housing starts and construction orders and April figures for Tokyo inflation, consumer confidence and the manufacturing PMI from Jibun Bank.

The jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 2.9 percent and the job-to-applicant ratio is also called unchanged at 1.09. Industrial production was down 1.3 percent on month and 2.0 percent on year in February. Housing starts were down 7.4 percent on year in the previous month and construction orders rose 2.5 percent.

Consumer prices in Tokyo were down 0.2 percent on month and 0.1 percent on year in March, while the consumer confidence index had a score of 36.1 and the manufacturing PMI score was 52.7.

South Korea will provide March figures for industrial production and retail sales. Industrial production is tipped to rise 0.1 percent on month and 4.2 percent on year after gaining 4.3 percent on month and 0.9 percent on year in February. Retail sales were down 0.8 percent on month and up 8.4 percent on year in February.

China will see April results for its manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs from the National Bureau of Statistics; in March, their scores were 51.9 and 56.3, respectively.

Thailand will release March numbers for current account and its coincident index, plus February figures for retail sales. In February, the current account deficit was $1.07 billion and the coincident index had a score of 126.7. Retail sales tumbled 8.0 percent on year in January.

Taiwan will see an advance estimate for Q1 gross domestic product, with forecasts suggesting an expansion of 6.1 percent following the 4.94 percent gain in the previous three months.

The Philippines will provide March data for producer prices; in February, producer prices sank 5.3 percent on year.

Australia will release March numbers for private sector credit and Q1 figures for producer prices. In February, private sector credit was up 0.2 percent on month and 1.6 percent on year. In the previous three months, producer prices rose 0.5 percent on quarter and fell 0.1 percent on year.

Finally, the markets in Taiwan are closed on Friday in observance of Labor Day.


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