25 October 2020
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Australia: Reserve Bank Governor speech and jobs report hog the spotlight

Craig James
9 October 2020

On Monday

The week kicks off on Monday when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases one of its relatively new indicators: “Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey”. The survey highlights how Aussie families are being affected by the virus.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday, the weekly reading of consumer sentiment from ANZ-Roy Morgan is released with the CBA measure of card spending and latest data on overseas arrivals and departures from the ABS. The weekly consumer confidence survey will be the first to gauge reaction to the Federal Budget.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday it will be the turn of the Westpac & Melbourne Institute to assess consumer views of the budget. The ABS will release two reports: provisional overseas travel data for September and the June quarter building activity figures. The latter contains estimates on dwelling starts. Also, on Wednesday, the Head of Payments Policy at the Reserve Bank, Tony Richards, will deliver a speech.

On Thursday

On Thursday, it is time for the two highlights of the week. The Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe, will speak at the Citi Australia and New Zealand Annual Investment Conference (AEDT 8.45am). And the ABS releases the September jobs data.

If the Reserve Bank Governor wants to clear the air on interest rate policy, this is the time. In terms of jobs, we expect a 20,000 fall in positions in September after a stellar job gain of 111,000 in August. The jobless rate may tick higher from 6.8 per cent to 7.0%, but divergent regional outcomes are expected

On Friday

And on Friday, the ABS issues its annual survey: “Labour Force Status of Families”. The ABS says that this “explores how families engage with the labour market.”

Overseas: US Federal Reserve meeting minutes in focus

In the coming week inflation readings dominate in the US while international trade data is a highlight on the Chinese data docket.

On Monday

The week kicks off on Monday in China with the scheduled release of new vehicle sales data as well as foreign direct investment. In August, vehicle sales were up a healthy 11.6% on a year ago.

On Tuesday

On Tuesday in the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales figures are released with consumer prices, the NFIB small business optimism index, IBD/TIPP economic optimism gauge and consumer inflation expectations.

Despite super-low interest rates and fiscal stimulus there is still no sign of a lift in inflation. The headline annual rate of inflation is 1.3% with the core measure (excludes food and energy) up 1.7% on the year. The Federal Reserve wants to run inflation above 2% for a time.

In China on Tuesday, the September international trade figures are released (exports and imports). In August, exports were up 9.5% on a year ago with imports down 2.1%. A lift in imports would provide more confidence about the current economic recovery. The August annual lift in exports was the third straight monthly lift with growth at 18-month highs. And another 9% lift in September from a year ago is expected.

On Wednesday

On Wednesday, the regular weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association is released with producer prices. In August, core producer prices (excludes food and energy) rose by 0.4% to be up 0.6% over the year. US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida delivers a speech.

On Thursday

On Thursday in China, the September inflation data is due – consumer and producer prices. In August consumer prices were up 2.4% on the year but producer prices were down 2%.

Also, on Thursday in China, money supply and lending data may be released – the release time moves around in the diary from month to month.

On Thursday in the US, the data on weekly claims for unemployment benefits (initial jobless claims) are issued together with September estimates on export and import prices, the Empire State manufacturing index and Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index. Also, on Thursday the second of the three US Presidential debates is scheduled in Miami subject to President Trump’s health.

On Friday

On Friday, US retail sales and industrial production figures are the highlights. Also issued is the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey results, business inventories and capital flows data.

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