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The Week Ahead in Finance (04-08-2014)

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Each week brings you five things to look out for in the week ahead (04-08-2014). Essential news that will shape the week and help you keep ahead in the world of business and finance.

US-Africa summit: Nearly 50 African leaders are meeting in Washington today for a three-day summit focusing on issues in trade, investment and governance. The United States is expected to announce nearly $1bn in business deals to fund food and power programs.

Related article: Without a statistical revolution, Africa’s renaissance is built on shaky ground

US trade gap: America’s international trade figures will be under the spotlight on Wednesday. Analysts expect the nation’s trade gap to have increased to $45bn in June from $44.4bn in May, the largest in two years. This is due to increased imports of consumer goods and business equipment.

Related article: Is America turning Japanese?

Germany's industrial data: Also on Wednesday, Germany will release its latest factory orders report. Economists are becoming increasingly worried about a slowdown in Europe’s largest economy, and this week’s industrial data will allow for a fuller analysis.

Related article: What if Germany were forced out of the euro?

Thailand's rates: We can also expect rates decisions from the Bank of Thailand on Wednesday. As inflation fell below expectations in July, officials are likely to leave rates steady in a bid to boost growth.

Related article: Thailand’s military junta on a spending spree

EU and UK rates: The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE) will announce their latest rates decisions on Thursday. Neither institution is expected to implement any changes from their current record low rates.

Related article: ECB’s negative interest rates hammer savers but will it make banks lend?

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