The week kicks off on Tuesday, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the new publication, Lending to Households & Businesses. The data includes all new lending commitments and may show further softening of home loan demand. And the January business survey will be issued from National Australia Bank. There was a pronounced softening of conditions and subdued reading on sentiment in the December survey. The business conditions index fell from +10.6 points in November to four-year lows of +2.2 points in December. The long-term average is +5.8 points. The NAB business confidence index eased slightly from +3.4 points to near three-year lows of +2.8 points in December, below the long-term average of 6.0 points. The weekly reading of consumer confidence is also issued Tuesday with Reserve Bank figures on credit and debit card lending. 

On Wednesday

Reserve Bank Head of the Economic Analysis Department, Alexandra Heath, delivers remarks at the Australian Business Economists Forecasting Conference. And the Westpac/Melbourne Institute monthly survey of consumer confidence. This report is more of a “check” on the weekly consumer sentiment data.

On Friday

A speech is expected from Christopher Kent, Assistant Governor (Financial Markets), Reserve Bank at a breakfast event hosted by foreign exchange provider XE.

Focus on Chinese economic data

The US Government shutdown is still playing havoc with the release dates for key economic data. Still, investors will also have to contend with Chinese data over the week, including trade and inflation. And trade talks continue between the US and China. The week begins on Tuesday in China with the January reading on foreign direct investment. In 2018, investment rose by 0.8% in yuan terms with analysts estimating that this equated to a 3% lift in US dollar terms over the year. Data on vehicle sales for January is also expected. And in the USweekly chain store sales data is issued along with the JOLTS job openings report and NFIB business optimism index. The number of unfilled jobs in November fell to the lowest level since June, though openings still exceeded unemployed Americans.

On Wednesday in the US, the monthly budget statement is released with weekly data on home loan applications and the consumer price Index. The core rate of inflation may have eased from 2.2% to 2.1% in January.

On Thursday in the USthe weekly jobless claims data (claims for unemployment insurance) is issued alongside producer prices and durable goods orders. The annual rate of core producer prices may have eased from 2.7% to 2.6% in January. And in China the January data on exports and imports is expected with lending growth figures.

On Friday, retail sales, industrial production, consumer sentiment, export/import prices, construction spending and the Empire State index are all scheduled for release. According to Adobe Analytics, e-commerce holiday season sales lifted by 16.5% from a year earlier signalling that overall retail sales were positive in December. Retail sales may have lifted 0.2%. And in China the latest inflation data is due – consumer and producer prices. Consumer prices are seen expanding at a 2% annual rate in January.

Our corporate reporting season moves into top gear

On Monday, companies reporting include Amcor, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, Aurizon, GPT, Charter Hall Long WALE REIT and JB Hi-Fi.

On Tuesday: Challenger, Reckon and Transurban.

On Wednesday: Aveo Group, Bapcor, Computershare, CSL, Skycity Entertainment Group, and Tabcorp.

On Thursday: AMP, ASX, Evolution Mining, Goodman Group, IPH Limited, Magellan Financial Group, Newcrest, Suncorp, Tassal, Telstra, Treasury Wine Estate and Woodside Petroleum. 

On Friday: Abacus Property Group, Domain, Medibank, Healius, URB Investments and Whitehaven.