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

  • The wind-down to Christmas and the New Year is underway. But there are still a few statistical hurdles to clear before Christmas, including the all-important November labour force report.
  • The week kicks-off on Monday when the National Skills Commission issues preliminary job vacancies data for November. Vacancies rose by 7.8 per cent in October to stand at a 13-year high of 250,882 positions.
  • On Tuesday, weekly indicators are scheduled, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA) data on credit and debit card spending and the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index.
  • Also on Tuesday, the NAB business survey for November is issued with a key focus on trading, profitability and employment conditions. Confidence was near record highs in October as Australia’s south-east exited Delta lockdowns. Inflation indicators are likely to remain elevated, with purchase and labour costs growth both lifting.
  • And the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes four separate reports: “Overseas Arrivals and Departures”; “Characteristics of Employment”; “Working arrangements”; and “Employee earnings.”
  • On Wednesday, Westpac and Melbourne Institute issue their joint consumer confidence index for December. The survey will also likely include a question about the ‘wisest place for savings.’
  • On Thursday, the Mid-Year budget (MYEFO) update is scheduled. In the full 12 months to October 2021 the budget was in deficit by $74 billion or 3.5 per cent of GDP – a 17-month low. The 2021/22 deficit was forecast in May to reach $106.6 billion after a record $134.2 billion in 2020/21.
  • Also on Thursday, labour force, population growth and wealth data are all scheduled. CBA Group economists expect 250,000 jobs to be added in November with the jobless rate falling from 5.2 per cent to 4.7 per cent.
  • Also Reserve Bank (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe speaks on Thursday at the CPA Australia Riverina Business Conference in Wagga Wagga at 10.30am AEDT. And RBA Head of Financial Stability Jonathan Kearns speaks at the UNSW Australasian Finance & Banking Conference at 10am AEDT.
  • Looking further out, the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment index is issued on Tuesday December 21 with the minutes of the RBA’s December 7 Board meeting. Policy settings were left unchanged at the meeting. Weekly payroll jobs and wages data to November 27 is scheduled on Wednesday December 22. And more jobs data is due on Thursday December 23 – this time the more detailed estimates for November including the figures on employment by industry. And the RBA releases the private sector credit data to round-out the year.

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

  • In China, the highlights are: home prices/investment/production/retail spending/unemployment data for November (December 15); loan prime rates are announced (December 20); industrial profits (December 27); and the ‘official’ manufacturing and services purchasing manager indexes (December 31).
  • On Monday in the US (December 13), consumer inflation expectations data is issued for November.
  • On Tuesday, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report is issued with producer price indexes and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small business optimism index.
  • Also on Tuesday, the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) begins its two-day policy meeting.
  • On Wednesday, weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is issued with retail sales and business inventories data. The New York Empire State manufacturing index, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index and international trade (export/import) price indexes are also scheduled.
  • On Thursday, the usual weekly data on jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits) is released with data on housing starts, building permits and industrial production. Manufacturing indexes for December are also scheduled from the Federal Reserve districts of Philadelphia and Kansas City.
  • Looking further out, key US economic releases to round-out 2021 include: Conference Board leading index (Monday December 20); the current account balance for the September quarter and the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report (Tuesday December 21); weekly MBA mortgage applications; the final reading on September quarter economic (GDP) growth; existing home sales; Chicago Federal Reserve national activity index (Wednesday December 22); personal income & spending; durable goods orders; new home sales; ‘final’ University of Michigan consumer confidence index (Thursday December 23); Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index (Monday December 27); weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales report; FHFA house price index; S&P/Case-Shiller home prices; Conference Board consumer confidence index; Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index (Tuesday December 28); weekly MBA mortgage applications; goods trade balance; wholesale inventories; pending home sales (Wednesday December 29); weekly jobless claims; Chicago Purchasing Mangers’ Index (Thursday December 30).

Originally published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec