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Japan Data On Tap For Friday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft 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, retail sales, housing starts and construction orders - as well as April figures for Tokyo inflation.

The jobless rate is expected to tick up to 2.4 percent from 2.3 percent in February. While the job-to-applicant ratio is called steady at 1.63. Industrial production is expected to be flat on month and fall 3.8 percent on year after adding 0.7 percent on month and falling 1.1 percent on year in February.

Retail sales are predicted to be flat on month and up 0.8 percent on year after adding 0.2 percent on month and 0.4 percent on year in the previous month. Large retailer sales are called steady, lower by an annual 1.8 percent.

Housing starts are tipped to advance 5.5 percent on year, up from 4.2 percent a month earlier. Overall Tokyo inflation is expected to rise 1.1 percent on year, up from 0.9 percent in March. Core CPI is called steady at an annual 1.1 percent.

New Zealand will see March trade data and April results for the consumer confidence index from ANZ.

Imports are expected to come in at NZ$5.15 billion, up from NZ$4.80 billion in February. Exports are pegged at NZ$5.390 billion, up from NZ$4.82 billion in the previous month.

The trade balance is tipped to show a surplus of NZ$131 million, up from NZ$12 million a month earlier. In March, the consumer confidence index added 0.8 percent on month to a score of 121.8.

Australia will provide Q1 numbers for producer prices and import and export prices. In the three months prior, producer prices were up 0.5 percent on quarter and 2.0 percent on year.

Import prices are forecast to add 0.4 percent on quarter, up from 0.5 percent in the previous quarter. Export prices are called higher by 3.5 percent, slowing from 4.4 percent in the previous three months.

Singapore will release March numbers for industrial production; in February, production fell 4.1 percent on month and climbed 0.7 percent on year.

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