Australia: An eclectic mix of economic data is expected

Over the coming week, survey results are expected on business and consumer confidence with data on overseas arrivals and departures and new home sales. Recently appointed Reserve Bank (RBA) Deputy Governor Michele Bullock participates in a panel discussion.

The week kicks off on Tuesday with Roy Morgan and ANZ releasing the weekly consumer sentiment index.
Sentiment hit a 20-month low ahead of the RBA’s interest rate hike on May 3.

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) releases the Household Spending Indicator (HSI). And National Australia Bank (NAB) issues the April business survey. Business confidence stands at a 5-month high with business conditions at 9-month highs.

Also on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases its final estimates for retail trade in March and the March quarter as well as the monthly business turnover indicator – a broader measure of spending.


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On Wednesday, Westpac and the Melbourne Institute issue the consumer confidence report for May. The focus of the survey will be on the rate increase, cost of living pressures and the Federal

On Thursday, the ABS issues the timely Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages report for the fortnight ending April 16. The data provides a guide on wage and job market trends.

Also on Thursday, the ABS releases regional data on dwelling approvals together with the latest data on overseas arrivals and departures. While the final March estimates for arrivals and departures will be released, the main interest will be the provisional statistics for April. The data is important for travel, tourism and transport sectors in particular, as well as hospitality more generally.

On Friday, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) is scheduled to release data on new home sales for April. And on the same day, Michele Bullock, Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank, participates in a panel discussion at the Regulators 2022 conference in Sydney at 12 pm AEST.

Overseas: Inflation watch in the US and China

Inflation is hogging the spotlight at present. In the coming week, US data on consumer, producer and trade prices will be released. Chinese international trade and inflation data will be closely observed amid Covid-19 lockdowns.

The week kicks-off on Monday in the US with the release of the measure of consumer inflation expectations from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Inflation expectations stand at a record high of 6.6 per cent.

In China on Monday, the international trade data for April is released. Exports could lift just 1.8 per cent on a year ago with imports down 3.2 per cent over the year in April, due to renewed supply chain and transport snarls.

On Tuesday in the US, the weekly Johnson Redbook chain store sales data is issued alongside two private sector gauges, one measuring business optimism and the other measuring economic optimism.

On Wednesday the spotlight is on inflation. In the US, the April consumer price index is released. Headline prices are up 8.5 per cent – the highest since December 1981. Core prices (excludes food and energy) are up 6.5 pecent on a year ago – the highest since August 1982. The debate at present is whether inflation has peaked. The data will go some way in answering that question. Core inflation is tipped to lift 0.4 per cent in April.

Also on Wednesday, weekly mortgage applications data in the US is due from the Mortgage Bankers
Association together with the monthly budget statement.

On Wednesday in China, the April data on consumer and producer prices is issued. Consumer prices are up just 1.5 per cent on a year ago with producer prices up 8.3 per cent, reflecting weak consumer demand.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly figures on claims for unemployment insurance will be issued with the measure of business inflation – the producer price index. Producer prices are up 11.2 per cent on the year.

On Thursday in China a raft of money supply and lending figures are expected to be released for April together with industry data on auto sales.

And on Friday in the US, the inflation-reporting season continues with data on import and export prices. The preliminary estimate of consumer sentiment for the month of May is also issued.

Originally published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec