Australia: From statistical feast to famine

  • In terms of key economic events, Australia transitions from feast to relative famine. Around half the number of key events is scheduled in the coming week compared with the prior week.
  • On Monday holidays are observed in NSW, Victoria, ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. And trading also won’t be conducted on the ASX.
  • In terms of economic data, the week kicks off on Tuesday with the NAB business survey, ANZ job advertisement series, and weekly CBA card spending data
  • The NAB business confidence index rose from -65.4 points in March to -45.7 points in April. But the business conditions index fell from -22.0 points to -34.1 points. And the ANZ series of job advertisements predictably fell by a record 53.1 per cent in April. Improvements are expected in both confidence and the number of job ads in May.
  • On Wednesday there is not just one set of consumer confidence results, but two. The ANZ/Roy Morgan weekly survey results are issued alongside the Westpac/Melbourne Institute monthly survey. Consumers are becoming more positive as lockdown restrictions are progressively eased. The monthly survey is also of interest in that the quarterly results are released on the ‘wisest place for savings’.
  • Also on Wednesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issues the April “Lending” publication. Results are provided on new lending commitments for housing, personal, commercial and lease purposes.
  • On Friday, the Reserve Bank releases the April data on credit and debit card lending.

Overseas: US Federal Reserve meeting in focus

  • In the coming week the US Federal Reserve meeting is scheduled together with a raft of business surveys and inflation data.
  • The week begins on Sunday with trade data released in China. Exports and imports are forecast by economists to fall by up to 7.5 per cent in May from a year ago, reflecting the weak global demand backdrop.
  • In the US, the week begins on Monday with May data on consumer inflation expectations.
  • On Tuesday in the US, the JOLTS series on job openings is issued with the National Federation of Independent Small Business (NFIB) Optimism survey, the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism index and the Johnson Redbook weekly chain store sales figures. The JOLTS index is near 3-year lows and the NFIB index stands at 7-year lows.
  • Over Tuesday and Wednesday the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets with the decision at 4.15am Sydney time on Thursday morning. No change in policy settings is expected. But the latest economic forecasts and Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference will be closely scrutinised.
  • On Wednesday, the May Consumer Price Index is issued with the monthly budget statement with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly mortgage applications data. Inflation remains low with core prices (excludes food and energy) falling 0.4 per cent in April to be up just 1.4 per cent on a year ago.
  • On Thursday in the US, the Producer Price Index is released. In April core prices fell 1.3 per cent to be down 1.2 per cent on the year. Core prices are forecast by economists to be flat in May.
  • In China the equivalent data on consumer and producer prices is released on Wednesday. Producer prices may have fallen 3.2 per cent in the year to May with consumer prices up 2.6 per cent.
  • Also on Thursday the weekly data on initial jobless claims (claims for unemployment insurance) is issued. After new claims peaked at 6.87 million in the week to March 29, claims have increased at a lower rate for the following eight weeks – up 2.1 million in the week to May 24. Continuing claims also appear to have peaked.
  • On Friday in the US, the May data on export and import prices is issued with the preliminary June data on consumer sentiment.
  • In China, money supply, lending and new vehicle sales figures are all tentatively scheduled for Friday. Encouragingly, vehicle sales in April were up 4.4 per cent over the year, the first increase since June 2018.

Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec