CommSec Chief Economist Craig James previews the economic & financial market events scheduled for the week ahead including the NAB business survey, consumer confidence & China inflation.

Australia: Post-election results

• In the coming week there will be more insights into the post-election economic environment in terms of business conditions and consumer sentiment.

• The week kicks off on Monday with the release of the ANZ job advertisement series. The authors of the report are questioning whether the data is truly picking up hiring intentions. In 2019, more and more businesses are advertising for staff on their own websites as well as social media like LinkedIn. Job ads have been soft in recent months while employment has been solid.


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• The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases a survey of “Participation, Job Search and Mobility” also on Monday.

• On Tuesday the weekly series of consumer confidence will be released from Roy Morgan and ANZ.

• Also on Tuesday, NAB releases the June survey of business confidence and conditions. In the election aftermath business confidence lifted. The question is whether businesses have got back to business by spending, investing and employing.

• On Wednesday, the ABS releases data on “Building Activity” as well as “Construction Work Done” for the March quarter. The building activity figures will include data on dwelling starts (commencements). Given that building approvals are softening, it is reasonable to expect further easing of project starts for houses and apartments.

• On Thursday, the ABS releases May data on new lending commitments made by lenders to Aussie consumers and businesses. First home buyer activity is the highest in 6½ years in response to softer home prices and a greater choice of new properties on the market. But the data should also confirm the “strike” by housing investors ahead of the election.

• Also on Thursday, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, delivers a speech via video conference to the at the FX Week USA conference in New York.

• On Friday, the Reserve Bank releases May data on credit and debit card lending. The data has been affected by ‘series breaks’ and re-classifications. But the financial regulator APRA has already released data showing reduced consumer appetite for credit card debt.

• The “Overseas Arrivals & Departures” data is also released on Friday.

Overseas: US and Chinese inflation data; Testimony by US Federal Reserve chair

• The latest inflation readings from the US and China are released in the coming week. The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, delivers testimony to Congress.

• The week begins on Sunday in China when the latest data on foreign exchange reserves is released.

• On Monday in the US, June data on consumer expectations is released together with the May reading of consumer credit (or lending). Credit is tipped to ease from US$17.5 billion to US$16 billion.

• On Tuesday, the regular weekly reading on chain store sales is due. But most focus will be on the small business survey from the National Federation of independent Business (NFIB) – the Business Optimism index. Also on Tuesday the JOLTS series of job openings will be released. A modest lift from 7.449 million to 7.479 million is expected. The US job market is arguably in the best shape in 50 years.

• On Wednesday in the US, the weekly mortgage applications figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association are due and wholesale inventories. But more attention will be paid the minutes of the recent meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers – the Open Market Committee. Fed presidents have differing views on the need and timing of future interest rate cuts. The minutes will provide more information on the discussions that were had.

• On Wednesday and Thursday, the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, testifies to Congress. The address to the House Financial Services Committee is on Wednesday with testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Rate cuts and central bank independence are the ‘hot’ topics.

• On Wednesday in China the data on consumer and producer prices is released. Higher food prices (especially pork) have been boosting consumer prices in recent months. In May, the annual rate of consumer prices rose from 2.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent – the highest rate since February 2018.

• On Thursday, the weekly figures on new claims for unemployment insurance are issued, along with data on the consumer price index (CPI) and the monthly budget statement. In June the core (excludes food and energy) measure of consumer prices probably rose 0.2 per cent to stand 2 per cent higher than a year ago – a result that won’t trouble the Fed.

• On Thursday in China the June data on new vehicle sales is expected. Sales continue to soften – down 16.4 per cent on a year ago in May.

• On Friday, the Producer Price Index (PPI) is released in the US. The core PPI is tipped to lift 0.2 per cent in June to keep the annual rate at 2.3 per cent.

• On Friday in China the June international trade data is expected. In May, exports were up 1.1 per cent over the year while imports were down 8.5 per cent. The trade surplus was US$41.66 billion.

Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec