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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 January numbers for unemployment, industrial production, retail sales, construction orders and housing starts, as well as February figures for Tokyo area inflation.

The jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 2.2 percent, while the job-to-applicant ratio is also called unchanged at 1.57. Industrial production is tipped to add 0.2 percent on month and fall 3.1 percent on year after rising 1.2 percent on month and sinking 3.1 percent on year in December.

Retail sales are expected to fall 0.2 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year after adding 0.2 percent on month and losing 2.6 percent on year in the previous month. Construction orders surged 21.4 percent on year in December.

Housing starts are predicted to sink 5.3 percent on year after sliding an annual 7.9 percent in the previous month.

Overall Tokyo inflation is expected to add 0.5 percent on year, slowing from 0.6 percent in January. Core CPI is pegged at 0.6 percent, down from 0.7 percent a month prior.

Australia will see January figures for private sector credit; in December, credit was up 0.2 percent on month and 2.4 percent on year.

Thailand will provide Q4 numbers for its current account; in the previous three months, the balance showed a surplus of $9.13 billion.

South Korea will release January numbers for industrial production and retail sales. In December, industrial production was up 3.5 percent on month and 4.2 percent on year, while retail sales advanced 0.3 percent on month and 4.6 percent on year.

Finally, the markets in Taiwan are closed on Friday for Peace Memorial Day and will re-open on Monday.

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