Australia: The consumer is in the spotlight

  • In the coming week, there are a number of the relatively ‘new’ indicators from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) including preliminary retail trade for July on Friday.
  • The week starts on Monday when the ABS releases provisional July overseas travel statistics.
  • On Tuesday the usual weekly indicators are issued. The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) releases its weekly data on credit and debit card spending and ANZ-Roy Morgan issues weekly consumer sentiment data. And the CBA Household Spending Intentions (HSI) survey for July is released.
  • Also on Tuesday the Reserve Bank issues the minutes (or details) of proceedings at the Board meeting held on August 4. This was the meeting where Board members signed off on the latest economic forecasts.
  • On Wednesday, the ABS issues another of its ‘new’ data: the provisional mortality statistics for the five-month period to May. The data puts in perspective deaths from COVID-19 compared with deaths of other causes.
  • Also on Wednesday the Department of Employment releases the July skilled job vacancies data. The Internet Vacancy Index increased by 26.3 per cent (or 24,600 job advertisements) in June 2020 to stand at 118,300.
  • On Thursday, the ABS releases the detailed July labour force report. Of particular interest are the demographic and regional geographic data.
  • On Friday the ABS issues the preliminary July retail trade data. Aussies have been spending freely in recent months, supported by Federal Government coronavirus supplements and enhanced wage support payments. But growth in sales will be restrained by the tighter COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
  • Also on Friday, the CBA issues the ‘flash’ (or early) results from surveys of purchasing managers for August.

Overseas: A raft of housing statistics are issued in the US

  • A broad array of US economic data is on offer in the coming week although few ‘top shelf’ statistics.
  • The week kicks off in the US on Monday with the influential New York Empire State manufacturing survey, the Housing Market index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and capital flows data.
  • The Empire State index rose to a reading of 17.2 in July – the best since November 2018. And the NAHB index rebounded in July to a 4-month high of 72.
  • On Tuesday, the data on housing starts and building permits are both released with weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales figures. Starts are tipped to rise by 3.7 per cent in July. Both starts and permits are at 3-month highs but have further to lift to get near ‘normal’ levels.
  • On Wednesday in the US, the Federal Reserve releases minutes of the last meeting on July 29 together with the usual weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • On Thursday in the US, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve index is released with the leading index and the usual weekly data on jobless claims. The ‘Philly Fed’ index eased in July from a 4-month high. And the Conference Board leading index lifted 2 per cent in June.
  • On Thursday in China, the People’s Bank of China releases data on its benchmark interest rates – the one-year loan prime rate and five-year prime loan rate. There have been no changes in the past three months.
  • On Friday in the US, data on existing home sales is released. In July sales rose 20.7 per cent to 30-month highs.
  • Also on Friday in the US, Japan, UK and Europe, the ‘flash’ purchasing manager indexes for August will be released by IHS Markit.

US and Aussie corporate reporting seasons

  • The Australian profit reporting season continues in the coming week (for the year or half-year to June). Amongst those scheduled to report are listed below with more details.
  • On Monday: JB Hi-Fi, Beach Energy; Viva Energy; Bendigo & Adelaide Bank; Lend Lease; Sydney Airport; BlueScope Steel; Argo; Altium; Kogan; GWA Group.
  • On Tuesday: Abacus Property Group; BHP, Coles, Cochlear; Monadelphous; Netwealth; Sims Metal; Virtus Health.
  • On Wednesday: A2 Milk; CSL; Bapcor; Brambles;; Corporate Travel Management; Tabcorp; Crown Resorts; Domino’s Pizza; Vicinity Centres; Invocare; Dexus; Fletcher Building; OZ Minerals.
  • On Thursday: Qantas; Coca-Cola Amatil; Star Entertainment; Medibank; Santos; Origin Energy; Sonic Healthcare; Perpetual; ASX; Wesfarmers; Domain; Webjet; IRESS; Orora; Mirvac; Charter Hall; South32
  • On Friday: Suncorp; TPG Telecom; Healius; Inghams.


Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec