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Australia: Mid-Year Review, jobs, population and wealth are the highlights

Craig James
11 December 2020

On Monday

The week may kick off on Monday with the Mid-Year budget update (it is expected some time over the week). In the full twelve months to October the underlying cash balance was $174.6 billion (8.8 per cent of GDP). The budget deficit for the four months to October was $3.6 billion lower than the ‘profile’ deficit.

Also, on Monday the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issues overseas arrivals data for October and the “Household Impacts of COVID19 Survey” for November.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday, weekly indicators are issued, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA) data on card spending, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index and ABS payroll jobs and wages indexes. The CBA issues its Household Spending Intentions report and the provisional travel statistics for November are due from the ABS.

Also, on Tuesday, Reserve Bank Head of Financial Stability Jonathan Kearns speaks at the Australasian Finance & Banking Conference. And minutes of the Reserve Bank December Board meeting are issued. Policy settings were left unchanged.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday, the ‘flash’ Markit purchasing manager indexes for December are scheduled. The ABS issues its “Business impacts of COVID-19” for December with a focus on business revenue, jobs and spending. And the skilled internet job vacancies data for November is also scheduled from the National Skills Commission.

On Thursday

On Thursday, the labour force survey is issued with population growth and wealth data. CBA Group economists expect 50,000 jobs to be added in November with the jobless rate easing to 6.7% from 7%.

Looking further out, the ABS releases preliminary retail trade data for November and the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index are issued on Tuesday December 22. Provisional international trade in goods data for November is scheduled on Wednesday December 23. And on the same day, yet more jobs data is due – this time the more detailed estimates for November including the figures on employment by industry. The Reserve Bank releases the private sector credit data on New Year’s Eve.

Overseas: China activity data and US economic growth data are in focus

In China, the highlights are: home prices (December 14); investment/production/retail spending/unemployment data for November (December 15); loan prime rates are announced (December 21); industrial profits (December 27); the ‘official’ manufacturing and services purchasing manager indexes (December 31).

On Monday

On Monday in the US (December 14), consumer inflation expectations data is issued for November.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report is issued with international trade (export/import) price indexes and industrial production data. The influential New York Empire State manufacturing and IBD/TIPP economic optimism indexes are also both scheduled for December.

Also, on Tuesday, the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee begins its two-day policy meeting.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday, the usual weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is issued with retail sales and business inventories data. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index is released with ‘flash’ IHS Markit purchasing manager indexes for December.

On Thursday

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits) is released with data on housing starts and building permits. Manufacturing indexes for December are also scheduled from the Federal Reserve districts of Philadelphia and Kansas City.

On Friday

On Friday, the current account balance for the September quarter and Conference Board leading index are due.

Looking further out, key US economic releases to round-out 2020 include: Chicago Federal Reserve national activity index (Monday December 21); the final reading on September quarter economic (GDP) growth; the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report; existing home sales; the Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index (Tuesday December 22); weekly MBA mortgage applications; personal income & spending; new home sales; FHFA house price index; ‘final’ University of Michigan consumer confidence index (Wednesday December 23); weekly claims for unemployment benefits (jobless claims); durable goods orders (Thursday December 24).

The Conference Board consumer confidence index; Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index (Monday December 28); weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report; S&P/CaseShiller home prices (Tuesday December 29); weekly MBA mortgage applications; goods trade balance; wholesale inventories; pending home sales (Wednesday December 30); weekly jobless claims (Thursday December 31).


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