Australia: Inflation in focus

  • Inflation data dominates in the coming week. Clearly, at present the quarterly data on price changes doesn’t rank highly. Instead, most investors and analysts are dissecting the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
  • But the week starts on Monday, when CommSec releases its quarterly State of the States report. The ranking of economic performance pre-dates the virus crisis.
  • On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases a number of annual publications covering migration, taxation and government finance.
  • Roy Morgan and ANZ will also release the weekly reading of consumer sentiment on Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday, the ABS releases the main measure of inflation in Australia: the Consumer Price Index. Prices may have lifted 0.2 per cent in the quarter and 2 per cent on the year.
  • On Thursday the Reserve Bank releases the Financial Aggregates publication. The data includes private sector credit as well as money supply indicators. APRA releases banking data on the same day.
  • And the ABS releases the second of the inflation indicators on Thursday: International Trade Price indexes. The data covers measures of export and import prices.
  • On Friday, the Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank both release their surveys of purchasing managers who work in the manufacturing sector. Readings are understandably weak at present.
  • Also on Friday, CoreLogic issues the Home Value Index (home prices) for April. This is one of the timelier indicators of the impact of the COVID-19 restriction measures on the economy – more specifically the housing market.
  • And the ABS releases the third of the inflation indicators on Friday: Producer Price Indexes. The data covers measures of business inflation, including manufacturing, agriculture and services.

Overseas: US Federal Reserve meeting and US economic growth

  • A meeting of the US Federal Reserve is one of the highlights in the coming week.
  • The week kicks off in China on Monday when data on industrial profits is released. Profits fell 38.3 per cent in the year to February.
  • On Monday in the US, the Dallas Federal Reserve issues its manufacturing index for April.
  • On Tuesday, a raft of events and indicators are scheduled in the US. The Federal Reserve begins a 2-day meeting. The central bank may have provided enough stimulus for now but the commentary will be read closely. The meeting is held over Tuesday and Wednesday with the decision at 4am Sydney time on Thursday.
  • In terms of US economic data on Tuesday, advance international trade data, wholesale inventories, consumer confidence, the Richmond Federal Reserve index and the S&P/Case Shiller home price series are released with weekly chain store sales figures.
  • On Wednesday the advance economic growth (GDP) estimate for the March quarter is issued. The effects of COVID-19 containment measures were largely felt in the second half of March.
  • Also on Wednesday, data on pending home sales is released together with the regular weekly data on US mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
  • On Thursday in the US, personal income and spending figures for the month of March is issued together with the employment cost index for the March quarter and the Chicago purchasing manager index for April.
  • Also on Thursday is the timeliest gauge on the US job market – the weekly data on new claims for unemployment insurance (jobless claims).
  • On Thursday in China the National Bureau of Statistics releases purchasing manager survey results for manufacturing and services sectors for April
  • Across the globe on Friday, results will be issued on the latest surveys of purchasing managers, largely covering the manufacturing sector. In the US the focus is on the ISM and Markit surveys with construction spending data

Financial markets: US corporate reporting season

  • In the US the profit-reporting or earnings season moves into full swing. Amongst companies scheduled to report are:
  • On Monday: Carnival, Loews.
  • On Tuesday: 3M, BP, Caterpillar, Corning, DR Horton, Merck, Novartis, Advanced Micro. Ford, United Airlines.
  • On Wednesday: General Electric, MasterCard, Royal Caribbean, Yum! Brands, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla.
  • On Thursday: Dow, McDonalds, Royal Dutch Shell, Amazon, MGM Resorts, Resmed, Visa.
  • On Friday: Exxon Mobil, Chevron.