17 January 2021
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Australia: Bevy of insights into the economy

Craig James
4 December 2020

On Monday

The week kicks off on Monday with the AiGroup services activity gauge. And ANZ releases the November data on job advertisements. The healing process is well underway in the job market.

Also, on Monday the Reserve Bank Governor delivers a speech while the Reserve Bank issues data on credit and debit card lending. The RBA Governor speech will be delivered to the Australian Payments Network.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday, weekly indicators are issued, including Commonwealth Bank data on card spending and the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index. The National Australia Bank issues its business survey on Tuesday. Sentiment should have lifted markedly on the vaccine news, the end of Melbourne’s lockdown and re-opening of state borders.

Also, on Tuesday: the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes home prices data for the September quarter: Residential Property Price Indexes. The data includes estimates on the number of houses, enabling economists to track trends in the average number of people per home.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday, Westpac and the Melbourne Institute publish the December consumer confidence report. Success in supressing the virus has clearly lifted spirits with confidence at 7-year highs. The report also includes insights into where consumers believe is the wisest place for savings.

Also, on Wednesday, there is a bevy of reports that may not ordinarily appear on radar screens. The ABS will release the following: Births, Household financial resources; and Labour Account.

On Thursday

On Thursday, the ABS will issue the following: Jobs in Australia; Tourism Satellite Account; Managed funds; and Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers. The Reserve Bank will also issue its monthly Bulletin.

Amongst the reports issued by the ABS on Friday are: Characteristics of employment; Apparent Consumption of Selected Foodstuffs; Employee earnings; and Working arrangements.

The job market is a priority area for policymakers so the special reports on Thursday and Friday will be valuable.

Overseas: Focus on US jobs data and China purchasing managers surveys

Data on prices (inflation) will feature in both China and the US in the coming week.

On Monday

The week kicks-off on Monday in China with the release of November trade data (exports and imports). The trade surplus with the US has been falling on a trend basis. In November, Chinese exports to all nations were up by 11.4% on the year with imports up 4.7%. On Monday in the US, consumer credit data is issued.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday in the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report is issued with unit labour costs & productivity estimates and the Small Business Optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday in the US, the usual weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association is issued with the JOLTS survey of job openings and data on wholesale inventories.

On Wednesday in China, the November data on consumer and producer prices is issued. Consumer prices are up just 0.5% on the year while producer prices are down by 2.1%.

On Thursday

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits) is released with data on consumer prices and the monthly budget statement. Consumer prices are up 1.2% on the year while core prices (excludes food and energy) are up by 1.6%.

On Friday

On Friday in the US, data on producer prices is released with the preliminary consumer sentiment survey result for December. Producer prices are up 0.5% on the year with core prices up 1.1%.

Also scheduled for release over the week in China are a range of credit and money supply indicators. There is no set release date or time for the data.

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