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Australia: Spotlight on business investment data

Craig James
21 August 2020

On Monday 

The week starts on Monday when the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the “Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey” for June. The week starts on Monday when the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the “Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey” for June. 

On Tuesday 

On Tuesday weekly indicators are issued, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA) data on credit and debit card spending, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index and the ABS payroll jobs & wages figures. 

Also, on Tuesday preliminary international trade data for July is scheduled. Iron ore shipments from Western Australia’s Port Hedland hit record highs during the month. 

On Wednesday 

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the “Construction Work Done” report. The report is important as the data on residential work is an input into the economic growth calculations. In the June quarter, CBA Group economists expect that construction work fell by 7.5% with residential and commercial building activity hampered by COVID-19 related government restrictions. 

On Thursday 

On Thursday, the ABS releases the report: “Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure.” The report includes data on business capital spending (buildings and equipment) and forecasts for spending over the next year. Forward-looking investment intentions data for 2020/21 deteriorated sharply in the March quarter report. CBA Group economists expect that investment declined by around 8.6% in the June quarter. 

Also, on Thursday the ABS issues the August “Business Impacts of COVID-19” survey. Topics covered in the phone survey include business revenue, operating expenses, employment, and COVID-19 policy support measures. 

On Friday 

On Friday, the ABS provides the latest estimates of regional population by age and sex for 2019. 

Overseas: US economic growth data features 

The main standout in terms of the coming week’s economic data is the second estimate of US economic (GDP) growth for the June quarter. Data on personal income and spending will also be of interest to investors. 

On Monday 

On Monday in the US the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity index for July is released. 

On Tuesday 

On Tuesday, data on home prices are released by both S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA house price index is tipped to lift by 0.4% in June. 

Also, on Tuesday, the Conference Board issues the consumer confidence index while the influential Richmond Fed manufacturing index, new home sales figures and the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report are all scheduled. Consumer confidence could edge higher to 93.2 in August from 92.6 in July. But new home sales are expected to ease by 0.1% in July to 775,000 units after a 13.8% lift in June. 

On Wednesday 

On Wednesday, data on durable goods orders - a proxy for business investment - is issued with the usual weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Durable goods orders are tipped to lift by 4% in July, following a 7.3% pick up in June on the back of a surge in motor vehicle orders. 

On Thursday 

On Thursday in China, industrial profits data is scheduled for July with a continued improvement expected. 

On Thursday in the US, the weekly data on jobless claims (unemployment benefits) will dominate market attention, as will the second estimate of June quarter economic (GDP) growth. The US economy shrunk by 9.5% in the quarter with the annualised rate down by 32.9% – the most since the March quarter of 1946. Data on pending home sales for July and the August Kansas Fed manufacturing index are also scheduled. 

On Friday 

On Friday in the US, personal income and spending figures are issued with the US Federal Reserve preferred inflation measure – the core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) deflator. Expanded unemployment insurance continue to be a support to income and spending. 

Finally, on Friday in the US, the goods trade balance, wholesale inventories, consumer sentiment and the Chicago purchasing managers’ index round-out a busy week. 

Australian corporate reporting season 

The Aussie profit reporting season enters its penultimate week (companies reporting for the year or half-year to June). Amongst those scheduled to report, include: 

On Monday: Fortescue Metals; nib Health; Senex Energy; Amayism; St Barbara; Super Retail Group; Monash  IVF; AUB Group; Infomedia; Reliance Worldwide. 

On Tuesday: Bingo Industries; Blackmores; Seven West Media; Scentre Group; Ansell; Stockland; Oil Search; Alumina; Qube Holdings; Ampol; Bingo Industries; HUB24. 

On Wednesday: Ridley Corp.; Adbri; Reece; IOOF; Seven; Whitehaven Coal; Adairs; WorleyParsons; Adelaide Brighton; APA Group; AP Eagers; Cleanaway Waste Management; FlexiGroup; Platinum Asset Management; Steadfast. 

On Thursday: Appen; Woolworths; Afterpay; Nine Entertainment; Zip; Link Administration; Independence Group; Ardent Leisure; Ramsay Health; Atlas Arteria; Flight Centre; Sandfire Resources. 

On Friday: Openpay; Village Roadshow; Boral; Costa Group. 

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