Australia: Reserve Bank dominates calendar

  • In an Easter holiday-shortened week, the Australian economic calendar will be dominated by information on key industry sectors and Reserve Bank events.
  • The week kicks off on Tuesday with the Reserve Bank Board holding its April meeting. No change in policy settings is expected. But as always the commentary from the Board will be worth scrutinising, especially in terms of the solid job market recovery.
  • In terms of economic data, ANZ releases the job advertisements data on Tuesday. Ads rose by 7.2 per cent in February to a 28-month high of 174,010 available positions. Ads have lifted for nine successive months to be up 13.4 per cent from a year ago.
  • On Wednesday, IHS Markit releases its ‘final’ March results of a survey of purchasing managers in the services sector. AiGroup releases its March Performance of Construction index. And the weekly reading of consumer sentiment is issued by ANZ and Roy Morgan.
  • On Friday, AiGroup releases its Performance of Services index. And the Reserve Bank releases the six-monthly Financial Stability Review. Focus is on the discussion of lending standards.
  • It’s a quiet week for new data releases from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). On Wednesday the ABS releases “Seasonal adjustment throughout periods of disruption and uncertainty”. On Thursday, “Prisoners in Australia” is issued. And on Friday the ABS will release data on building approvals for small geographic areas.

Overseas: A busy week, but with few highlights

  • A raft of indicators is scheduled in the United States including minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting. Inflation data is released in China on Friday.
  • The week kicks-off on Monday in the US with two readings on the services sector – the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) index and the Markit index. Data on factory orders is also scheduled for release.
  • On Tuesday in the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales data is issued with the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism index (from Technometrica Market Intelligence/The Investor’s Business Daily) and the JOLTS series of job openings. The New York Federal Reserve also issues its gauge of consumer inflation expectations.
  • On Tuesday in China, the March reading will be provided on the Caixin services index.
  • On Wednesday in the US, the usual weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is issued with the minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The minutes could highlight key policy leanings.
  • Also on Wednesday, international trade data (exports and imports) for February is issued with data on consumer credit.
  • On Thursday in the US, the regular weekly data on jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits) is released.
  • To round off the week, in the US on Friday, the March producer price index (PPI) is released with the February data on wholesale inventories. The core measure of the PPI is up 2.5 per cent on a year ago. The key question is whether higher producer prices filter through to consumer prices. Economists tip a lift in PPI by 0.2 per cent – 0.5 per cent in March.
  • In China on Friday, March inflation figures are also released, but include consumer and producer prices rather than just the latter. Then, tentatively scheduled for Saturday is data on new car sales, lending and money supply (credit growth data).

Originally published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec