The Week Ahead: Jan. 13-19, 2014

January 12, 2014 11:17 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

FY 2014 omnibus spending measure | Seeking a dairy policy agreement for farm bill end zone

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

The Senate resumes consideration of extending unemployment benefits (S 1845) while farm bill principals seek a compromise on dairy policy issues as a lingering dispute regarding supply management and dairy stands in the way of announcing an overall conference agreement. Meanwhile, a three-day continuing resolution (CR) will be voted on to give lawmakers still more time to work on an omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2014, which began Oct. 1.

Omnibus spending bill needs more time. On Monday or Tuesday, the House will consider a short-term, three-day CR that will keep federal government programs running until the omnibus legislation is passed by both chambers and is signed by the president. The current CR expires Jan. 15. The House GOP leadership is expected to move the omnibus appropriations bill though the chamber by the end of the week. The Senate could take up the legislation by Jan. 17. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Roger (R-Ky.) said he will release the final legislation late Sunday or Monday, setting up a House vote Tuesday or Wednesday. The measure is expected to pass. The omnibus would then pass to the Senate, where, thanks to the CR, will have until midnight Saturday to pass it.

Health care reform. The House also is scheduled to consider a bill (HR 3662) that would require more transparency in the operation of the health benefit exchanges under the health care law.

Unemployment benefits. The Senate on Monday will resume consideration of a bill (S 1845) to extend for three months unemployment compensation benefits over 1 million people who lost benefits in December 2013. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Jan. 9 filed a motion to cut off debate on the bill, which will be voted on Monday.

Nominations. Senators also plan to resume debate on the nomination of Robert Wilkins to be a US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Nearly all major farm bill issues have been settled, or could be settled, once a compromise dealing with a dairy policy disagreement on supply management is found. Both House and Senate farm bill leaders are working on possible options to delete supply management language from the dairy policy language, but still garner the support of Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member on the House Ag Committee, who has pushed the policy despite major amid the sustained opposition from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). There are several options being discussed to send dairy producers the signal to cut back on production if costs accelerate. These include reducing the premium subsidy and/or lowering the margin coverage benefit. Farm bill contacts say they can't believe Peterson would bring down the entire farm bill over one aspect of a dairy reform plan, when some options could be implemented to help deal with his concerns.

On the energy front, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is forming a new Climate Action Task Force, and members of the new group will hold a press conference on Tuesday. Of note is Thursday's hearing on President Obama's climate agenda. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify before the Environment and Public Works Committee. Lawmakers will also hold a hearing on China's high-profile maritime disputes.

On the hearing front, a Senate Banking subcommittee focuses on financial holding companies; Senate Environment examines president's climate change plan; and House Energy & Commerce subcommittee talks about greenhouse gas emissions.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a matter involving President Obama's recess appointment power. The case is an appeal of a lower federal court ruling that Obama's appointment of three members to the board of the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional.

President Obama's schedule: On Tuesday, Obama will hold his first Cabinet meeting of 2014. On Wednesday, the President takes his economic message to the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area. On Friday, President Obama will give a speech outlining results of the administration's review of national security surveillance policy.

Additional data on the US economy will still be key in the week ahead, with Monday bringing the Treasury Department update on the deficit situation. Tuesday will see Retail Sales, Import-Export Prices and Business Inventories data released followed by the Producer Price Index, Empire State Manufacturing update and Beige Book due to arrive on Wednesday. Thursday’s updates include the Consumer Price Index, jobless claims, the Philly Fed report and Housing Market Index while Friday will bring release of Housing Starts, Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment readings. And there will be plenty of Fed speakers for markets to monitor in the wake of the jobs data this week, including Atlanta Feds Lockhart (Monday and Wednesday), Philadelphia Fed’s Plosser and Dallas Fed’s Fisher (both 2014 FOMC voters) on Tuesday, Chicago Fed’s Evans Wednesday with San Francisco Fed’s Williams and Fed Chairman Bernanke on Thursday. Beyond that, any economic updates out of China and Europe are also potential key factors for markets to assess as they ponder the economic situation as January moves on.

For agriculture, it is a relatively light week on the data side with Grain Inspections Monday and the Weekly Export Sales update on Thursday. The latter is expected to show more impacts of the China corn situation but will be the first report in two weeks that hasn’t had a holiday impact. Trade flows on wheat and other commodities will be watched along with any developments in the financial markets that affect the value of the US dollar.

Monday, Jan. 13
Federal Reserve: Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speech on the economic outlook in Atlanta.
President Barack Obama meets with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House.
The Asian Financial Forum begins in China; Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao speaks.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is closed for Coming of Age Day.
Electricity Security and Affordability Act: Subcommittee markup. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power mark up pending legislation. HR 3826 — Electricity Security and Affordability Act (official title to be confirmed).
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve) | Treasury Budget
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS)

Tuesday, Jan. 14
President Obama will hold his first Cabinet meeting of 2014.
Federal Reserve:
Philadelphia Fed's Charles Plosser speech on economic outlook in Philadelphia. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speech on the U.S. and regional outlook, in Dallas.
Egypt holds a referendum on a new constitution.
Sequestration and rural schools: Committee hearing. House Natural Resources Committee.
Surface Transportation reauthorization: Committee hearing. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Global economic outlook: World Bank will hold a briefing on the latest edition of "Global Economic Prospects," a semi-annual publication, which examines global economic trends and how they affect developing countries. Participants: Kaushik Basu, chief economist and senior vice president, World Bank; Andrew Burns, lead author, Global Economic Prospects.
Economic reports: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | Imports/Exports | Advance Retail Sales | Business Inventories
USDA reports: Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | Cotton and Wool Outlook Tables (ERS) | Feed Outlook (ERS) Rice Outlook (ERS)


Wednesday, Jan. 15
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks about the global economic recovery in Washington.
Federal Reserve: Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speech to an economic forecast luncheon in Coarlville, Iowa. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speech on the economy and monetary policy in Atlanta.
US economy and energy policy: US Chamber of Commerce will hold an event to launch its new "Energy Works for US" policy platform, consisting of specific recommendations to overhaul the US economy and energy policy.
Volcker rule: Committee hearing. House Financial Services Committee.
China and international trade: Committee hearing. Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing titled "China's Compliance With the World Trade Organization and International Trade Rules."
States issues: National Governors Association annual State of the States address, which will review current conditions and challenges states are facing and highlight the collective vision of governors' priorities for 2014.
NAFTA at Twenty: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Western Hemispere. Subcommittee Hearing on the North American Free Trade Agreement titled "NAFTA at Twenty: Accomplishments, Challenges, and the Way Forward." Panel 1: Carla Hills, chairwoman and CEO, Hills & Company International Consultants; David Dreier, chairman, Annenberg-Dreier Commission at Sunnylands. Panel 2: Eric Farnsworth, vice president, Council of the Americas and Americas Society; Mark Elliot, executive vice president, Global Intellectual Property Center, US Chamber of Commerce.

Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA)
Economic reports: MBA Purchase Applications | Producer Price Index | Empire State Mfg Survey | Beige Book (Federal Reserve) | Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations Survey
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS) | US Bionergy Statistics (ERS) | Aquaculture Data (ERS)


Thursday, Jan. 16
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks at the BOJ's quarterly meeting of regional branch managers.
Federal Reserve: San Francisco Fed President John Williams presents a paper, "Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound: Putting Theory Into Practice," before the Brookings Institution. Outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke conversation on challenges facing central banks, in Washington.
President's climate action plan: Committee hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Panel includes Gina McCarthy, administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Nancy Sutley, chairwoman, Council on Environmental Quality; Dan Tangherlini, administrator, General Services Administration; Daniel Ashe, director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Health care law implementation: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Public transportation issues: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Trade negotiating authority: Committee hearing. Senate Finance Committee.
Water as a geopolitical threat: Subcommittee hearing. House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
US income inequality: Committee hearing. Joint Economic Committee.
Restaurant industry forecast: National Restaurant Association will hold a webinar on the release of its new research on trends and projections for the restaurant industry in the coming year.
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA)
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Housing Market Index | Consumer Price Index | Real Earnings | Phila Fed Survey | Treasury International Capital
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (ERS) | Meat Price Spreads (ERS) | Sugar and Sweetener Outlook (ERS)


Friday, Jan. 17
Federal Reserve: Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speech on the economic outlook, in Richmond.
Economic reports: New Residential Construction | Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization | Michigan inflation expectations (P) | JOLTS | Michigan Consumer Sentiment (P)
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS)


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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