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Quiet week with focus on ‘second tier’ data

Craig James
Friday, March 22, 2019

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On Tuesday

The week kicks off on Tuesday with a speech from Luci Ellis, Assistant Governor (Economic), at the Housing Industry Association March Industry Outlook breakfast. In the coming week economists will likely be doing early preparations for the Federal Budget. Because clearly there isn’t too much in the way of influential economic events. Also, on Tuesday, the regular weekly reading on consumer confidence is published by ANZ and Roy Morgan.

On Wednesday

The focus is on ‘panel participation’ by Christopher Kent, Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) at the FX Week Australia event in Sydney. Also, on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release data on regional population growth for the 2017/18 year. The ABS also release December quarter figures on engineering construction. A boom in infrastructure spending is underway so the latest ABS data will put the spotlight on how much activity remains to be completed.

On Thursday

The ABS release detailed estimates on the job market for February. The data will include industry estimates of employment. Job vacancies data is also released – currently at record highs. On Thursday, the ABS release the ‘Finance and Wealth’ estimates for the December quarter. The figures include data on household wealth – likely to show a fall, but this is also likely to be partially reversed in the current quarter given the strong share market.

On Friday

The Reserve Bank releases the ‘Financial Aggregates’ publication, including the latest money supply and lending aggregates. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) also issues the February data on bank deposits and lending, including credit card data.

Overseas: US inflation & growth in focus

Key US economic growth and inflation measures are the key interest points in the coming week.

On Monday

The week begins on Monday in the US when the Chicago Federal Reserve national activity index is released with the Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index.

On Tuesday

The February figures on building permits and housing starts are released. The S&P/Case Shiller home price index is issued with the FHFA measure on home prices. The March reading of consumer confidence is also issued with the influential Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index. The usual weekly data on chain store sales is also scheduled. The S&P/Case Shiller measure of home prices stood 4.2% higher than a year ago in December – a four year low and down from the 4.6% annual gain in November. Housing starts posted a huge 18.6% lift in January, so the February data is likely to show some retrace

On Wednesday

The January international trade data is issued. In December the deficit widened from US$50.3 billion to US$59.8 billion. The trade deficit over 2018 was at a 10-year high. On Wednesday in the US, the broader December quarter current account data is released with the weekly measure of mortgage applications.

On Thursday

The final estimate of economic growth for the March quarter. The initial estimate was put at a 2.6% annual rate. But the thinking is that the growth estimate may be revised down considering the widening of the trade deficit revealed for December. The usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released with pending home sales and the Kansas Federal Reserve manufacturing index.

On Friday

Personal income & spending data will be released with the Chicago purchasing managers index, weekly consumer sentiment and new home sales. In China, the only real interest will be in the January/February data on industrial profits – due for release on Wednesday.

Published: Friday, March 22, 2019

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