CommSec Senior Economist Ryan Felsman previews the economic & financial market events scheduled for the week ahead including the Reserve Bank Board meeting, Statement on Monetary Policy & 2020 State of the Union.

Australia: The Reserve Bank is out of hibernation

• In the coming week, the Reserve Bank dominates the economic calendar following its summer hiatus. ‘Top tier’ data releases include home prices, retail sales, international trade, building approvals, motor vehicle sales and purchasing manager indexes.

• On Monday, CoreLogic releases the Home Value Index – the most widely followed measure of home prices in Australia. Driven by higher prices in Sydney and Melbourne, the national measure of home prices probably rose by around 1.0 per cent in January to be up near 5 per cent from a year ago.

• Also on ‘Super Monday’, a bevy of monthly economic data is released including building approvals, job advertisements, inflation and manufacturing activity gauges.

• On Tuesday, ANZ and Roy Morgan issue the consumer sentiment index for the week ended February 2.

• Also on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank (RBA) Board meets for the first time this year. But no change in the official cash rate is expected after the release of solid jobs growth data in both November and December – with the unemployment rate broadly tracking in-line with policymaker’s forecasts at the end of 2019.

• On Wednesday, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech at the National Press Club in Sydney at 12.30pm AEDT.

• Also on Wednesday, new vehicle sales data is issued for January. In 2019, sales of new vehicles fell by 7.8 per cent on a year ago. And the ABS issues its quarterly “Selected Cost of Living” indexes, detailing changes over time in the purchasing power of the after-tax incomes of Aussie households.

• On Thursday, the ABS releases both retail and international trade data for December. Economists will be focused on the December quarter real (inflation-adjusted) retail trade data and whether the surge in Black Friday online sales continued all the way through to Boxing Day. Australia is expected to a record a $4.2 billion trade surplus, assisted by Chinese policy stimulus and Aussie dollar weakness against the greenback.

• On Friday, the RBA releases its Statement of Monetary Policy. All eyes with be on the Board’s economic growth, inflation and labour market (unemployment rate and wage growth) forecasts. Downward revisions to economic activity are possible reflecting the impact of bushfires and the ongoing drought.

Overseas: US jobs and China international trade data is in focus

• In the coming week China private sector purchasing manager indexes, industrial profits and international trade data are all released. In the US, jobs, factory and international trade figures will be of most interest to investors.

• The week kicks off in China on Monday with the release of industrial profits and Caixin’s factory activity gauge.

• On Monday in the US, the ISM manufacturing index – which fell to a decade low in December – is released. IHS Markit’s final factory activity reading, construction spending and Ward’s vehicle sales report are also scheduled.

• In the US on Tuesday, factory orders data is issued with the final reading on durable goods orders (a measure of business investment) for December. And the regular weekly data on chain store sales is also released.

• Also on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump is scheduled to give his State of the Union speech to Congress.

• On Wednesday in the US, the Mortgage Bankers Association releases weekly data on mortgage applications. Also the international trade balance for December is issued with ADP’s private sector payrolls (employment) report. And updates on services sector activity from the ISM and IHS Markit are scheduled for January.

• On Wednesday in China, Caixin releases its services sector purchasing manager index for January.

• On Thursday in the US, the regular weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is issued. Other labour market-related data including Challenger Job Cuts, quarterly nonfarm productivity and unit labour costs are due.

• And on Friday, the all-important January nonfarm payrolls (jobs) report is scheduled. Economists expect 150,000 jobs to be added with the unemployment rate steady at 50-year lows of 3.5 per cent. Wholesale inventories, wholesale trade sales and consumer credit figures round-out the economic calendar in the US.

• In China on Friday, international trade figures are scheduled for January.

Financial markets (Source: Bloomberg)

• The Australian corporate reporting season lifts a gear with around 25 companies scheduled to report their results this week.

• Companies reporting on Monday include Copper Strike.

• On Tuesday: Temple & Webster, Ecofibre, Shopping Centres Australasia Property Trust, BWP Trust, Cimic Group.

• On Wednesday: RPM Automotive, Australian Unity Office Fund, Genworth Mortgage Insurance, ALE Property, Service Stream.

• On Thursday: IAG Finance NZ, Centuria REITs, Boadicea Resources, Mincor Resources, Great Southern Mining, Prodigy Gold, Dexus, Nick Scali, Pinnacle Investment Management.

• On Friday: Spotless Group, Mirvac, REA Group