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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning July 29 2019

Australia: Inflation in focus

• The suite of inflation measures dominate in Australia in the coming week: data on consumer prices, producer prices and trade prices will all be released.

• The week kicks off on Monday when CommSec releases the quarterly State of the States report, a report monitoring the performance of our State and Territory economies.

• On Tuesday the weekly series of consumer confidence will be released from Roy Morgan and ANZ. Consumers are generally feeling OK about the state of their finances and the state of the economy.

• Also on Tuesday, the ABS releases the June data on building approvals – the approvals granted by local councils to build new houses and apartments. Home building is easing in most states and territories following record home building over 2018.

• On Wednesday, Australia’s main inflation measure – the Consumer Price Index (CPI) – is slated for release. The June quarter data is expected to show prices rising by 0.6 per cent, lifting the annual rate of inflation from 1.3 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

• One of the main drivers of the CPI result is the cost of petrol. Petrol rose by 11 per cent in the quarter, adding around 0.3-0.4 percentage points to the quarterly CPI increase.

• In the June quarter, seasonal increases will be recorded for health (private health insurance) and tobacco (excise flow-through) while seasonal decreases in domestic travel and accommodation prices are expected.

• Stripping out volatile elements like petrol (trimmed mean measure), prices probably rose 0.4 per cent in the quarter and 1.6 per cent over the year.

• On Thursday the ABS releases the June quarter international price indexes (export and import prices). Also both AiGroup and the Commonwealth Bank release separate survey results for manufacturing purchasing managers. And CoreLogic releases July data on home prices.

• So far in July the 5 capital city aggregate measure of home prices is flat. Sydney and Melbourne prices have lifted 0.1 per cent with Brisbane prices up 0.2 per cent and Adelaide and Perth prices down 0.3 per cent.

• And on Friday the ABS releases the June quarter producer price indexes and June figures on retail trade. The producer price indexes will be affected by the 20 per cent lift in iron ore prices, 11 per cent rise in oil prices and the small fall in the value of the Aussie dollar.
Overseas: US Federal Reserve set to cut rates

• In the US, the two stand-out events in the coming week are the Federal Reserve rates decision and the employment report (non-farm payrolls). In China, the focus is on the surveys of purchasing managers.

• The week begins on Monday in the US, when the Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index is issued.

• On Tuesday, the personal income and spending data is released with pending home sales, consumer confidence, the S&P/Case Shiller home price index and the regular weekly data on chain store sales.

• The personal income data includes pivotal inflation data – the core personal consumption expenditure deflator – the measure tracked by the Federal Reserve. The core PCE deflator may have lifted 0.2 per cent in June to stay 1.6 per cent higher on the year.

• On Tuesday the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting. When the decision is announced at 4.00am AEST time on Thursday it is expected to contain a 25 basis point cut to the federal funds rate.

• On Wednesday, the weekly mortgage applications figures from the US Mortgage Bankers Association are due. The ADP measure of private sector payrolls is also slated for release on Wednesday together with the employment cost index and the Chicago purchasing managers index.

• In China on Wednesday the “official” manufacturing and services sector surveys of purchasing managers are issued by the National Bureau of Statistics. The private sector Caixin purchasing managers’ survey for manufacturing is released on Thursday.

• On Thursday in the US, the weekly figures on new claims for US unemployment insurance are issued, along with the ISM manufacturing survey, construction spending figures and data on new vehicle sales.

• On Friday in the US, the pivotal monthly employment report is released, containing data on non-farm payrolls (employment), average hourly earnings and the unemployment rate. Economists expect a healthy 160,000 lift in jobs in July.

• US data on consumer sentiment, international trade and factory orders are also issued on Friday.

Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec