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Australia: Business & consumer sentiment in focus

Craig James
6 November 2020

On Monday

The week kicks off on Monday when CommSec releases its annual Home Size report. The report examines trends in home building and the implications for home building, home purchase and related industries.

Also, on Monday the Reserve Bank releases the September data on credit and debit card lending – key statistics to monitor economy-wide spending. Data showed that the average credit/charge card balance fell by 1.7% to a 14-year low of $2,721.67 in August. And the value of combined credit & debit card purchases eased by 0.7% in August. Card purchases were up 0.6% on the year.

Also, on Monday the usual weekly data on used car prices is expected from Datium Analytics together with weekly data on petrol prices and small-area building approvals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

On Tuesday

On Tuesday, the NAB business survey is released with the regular weekly measure of consumer confidence from ANZ and Roy Morgan and the CBA report on credit and debit card lending. In September, the NAB business confidence index improved from -8.2 points to -3.8 points (the long-term average is +5 points). The business conditions index lifted from -6.2 points to an 8-month high of +0.4 points. (long-term average is +5.2 points).

On Wednesday

On Wednesday, there is another measure of consumer confidence – this time the November monthly survey results from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute.

Also, on Wednesday the ABS releases the “Education and Work” publication for May that includes “survey data over time on current or recent study, educational attainments, and employment.”

On Thursday

On Thursday, the ABS issues two publications. The most interest will be in the overseas arrivals and departures data for September. Although, of course, there are limited movements across our foreign borders.

The second ABS publication is “Employment and Earnings, Public Sector” for 2019/20 that “contains estimates of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries by level of government by state; and by industry.”

On Friday

On Friday, the ABS issues provisional October data on overseas travel movements – tracking the limited opening-up of the economy. Also, on Friday the ABS issues the Input-Output tables for 2017/18 that allows researchers to track the linkages across sectors of the economy. Clearly this is one for serious analysts.

Overseas: Inflation in focus

In the coming week inflation data is in focus in the US and China.

On Monday

The week kicks off on Monday in the US when data on consumer inflation expectations is released for October by the New York Federal Reserve.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday in the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales figures are released with the Small Business Optimism index by the National Federation of Independent Business and the September JOLTS series of job openings. The business optimism index is at 7-month highs. And job openings eased from 5-month highs in August.

In China on Tuesday, the October data on consumer prices and producer prices is expected. In September consumer prices were up 1.7% on the year but producer prices were lower by 2.1%.

On Wednesday

Also, worth a look on Wednesday is the official cash rate review decision from Reserve Bank New Zealand.

On Wednesday in the US, weekly Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage applications figures are released.

On Thursday

On Thursday, the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment benefits (initial jobless claims) is issued with data on consumer prices and the monthly budget statement.

Headline consumer prices are only 1.4% higher than a year ago. And annual underlying inflation (excludes food and energy) stands at 1.7% – the sixth month below 2%.

On Friday

On Friday in the US, the producer price index (PPI) is released with the preliminary November survey of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

The headline PPI is up just 0.4 per cent over the year to September while the underlying measure is up 1.2%.

In China on Friday, data on new vehicle sales for October is expected together with foreign direct investment data for the ten months to October.

And on Friday in China, lending and money supply data is provisionally slated for release. Loans outstanding are up 13% over the year to September while money supply is up by 10.9%.


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