World leaders are meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week and as the Financial Times reports, “The event has earned a reputation in its first 49 years for high-altitude pontificating as the global elite gather to pitch their takes on lofty topics picked by WEF founder Klaus Schwab, from de-globalization to the fourth industrial revolution.
This year, as the WEF marks its 50th anniversary, a new urgency hangs over the Alpine town. The prospects for global economic growth, the tech companies that were feted at previous meetings, the multilateralism that the WEF espouses and capitalism itself are all in question.” In other overseas developments, the European Central Bank meets this week and Japan reports on trade, consumer prices, and flash manufacturing PMI. Following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, the U.S. economic calendar is relatively light this week, with new releases due out on existing home sales, initial unemployment claims, and the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators. The consensus forecast is that the Leading Economic Index declined 0.2% in December following a flat (0.0%) reading in November. We’ll have a recap of the week’s key economic, commodity, and scrap market highlights in next week’s ISRI Market Report.