Australia: Reserve Bank Governor to speak

  • The statistical feast has made way for famine. The highlight in the coming week is a speech to be delivered by the Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe.
  • The week kicks off on Monday with the regular weekly indicators on petrol prices and used vehicle sales.
  • On Tuesday, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Group economists release weekly credit and debit card spending data while ANZ-Roy Morgan release the weekly consumer sentiment survey.
  • Also on Tuesday, the National Australia Bank issues its monthly business survey.
  • In January the business confidence index rose from +4.7 points to +10.0 points. But the business conditions index fell from a 28-month high of +15.8 points to +7.2 points.
  • On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe, delivers a speech to the Australian Financial Review Business Sentiment at 9.00am AEDT.
  • On Wednesday there is another survey of consumer confidence – the March monthly survey by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute. The March survey also includes responses to the question on where is the ‘wisest’ place to put new savings.
  • Consumer confidence rose by 1.9 per cent in February to 109.1 – the second highest reading in seven years. The index stands 14.2 per cent above its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
  • Also on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the ‘Labour Account’. The publication provides greater detail on the labour market including wages and other payments.
  • The other publications expected from the ABS over the week include Provisional Mortality Statistics (Wednesday) and Corrective Services and Industrial Disputes (Thursday).
  • On Thursday, the Reserve Bank releases data on credit and debit cards, ATM statistics and cheques.

Overseas: US & Chinese inflation in focus

  • A relatively quiet week is in prospect. US and Chinese inflation measures will be released. Also international trade, vehicle sales and lending data are on the agenda in China.
  • The week kicks-off on Sunday in China with the release of international trade (exports and imports) covering the two months to February. In December exports were up 18.1 per cent on the year with imports up 6.5 per cent.
  • On Monday in the US, data on wholesale inventories is expected. The data can give a guide to spending and production decisions.
  • On Tuesday, the regular weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales data is issued with the Small Business Optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – a key small business association.
  • On Wednesday, inflation data is in focus in both China and the US. The Chinese data covers both consumer and producer prices. The US data covers just consumer prices with the producer price figures released on Friday.
  • Also on Wednesday in the US, the monthly federal budget figures are released together with the usual weekly mortgage applications data. The January budget deficit of US$163 billion was five times higher than a year ago.
  • On Thursday, the regular weekly data on jobless claims (claims for unemployment benefits) is issued with the JOLTS data on job openings – a guide to future labour market conditions. Job openings hit a 5-month high in December.
  • Provisionally scheduled for Thursday in China are the monthly lending, credit and money supply figures.
  • On Friday in China, the February vehicle sales data is released. Sales are up 30 per cent on the year.
  • In the US on Friday, data on producer prices is issued. The core measure (excludes food and energy) is up 2 per cent on the year.

Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec