On Monday      

The week kicks off  when Commonwealth Bank releases its measure on economy-wide sales for December. In addition, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issues the final edition of Lending Finance. The report covers not just home loans, but also personal, business and lease loan commitments. The new report to be released in February will combine the detailed Housing Finance publication with Lending Finance.

On Tuesday

ANZ and Roy Morgan release the weekly consumer confidence data. Consumers remain remarkably upbeat, no doubt reflecting the strength of job markets as well as lower petrol prices. 

On Wednesday 

The Department of Jobs and Small Business will release the Skilled Vacancies data for December – a key leading index on the job market. Vacancies have flattened out at a healthy level.

On Thursday 

The ABS releases the December jobs report. The job market is in great shape. In November, 37,100 jobs were created with the jobless rate at 5.1%. In addition, a record proportion of Australians are in the workforce with the trend participation rate at record highs. In December, we expect that jobs lifted by 20,000 with the jobless rate at 5%. Also on Thursday, CBA releases the “flash” survey results purchasing managers in manufacturing and services.

Overseas: Chinese economic growth data in focus

Chinese economic growth and activity data are amongst the highlights in the coming week.

In the US, the economic release schedule is subject to change – a victim of the government shutdown. A bevy of indicators were to be released in the coming week but are now delayed

The week begins on Monday in China with economic growth data for the December quarter. In addition, the final estimates for 2018 are issued for retail sales, industrial production and investment. The Chinese economy likely grew by 6.5% over 2018 (6.4% in the December quarter), hitting official targets. But growth of 6.0-6.5% is more likely in 2019.

In addition, Chinese retail sales is tipped to have grown at an 8.2% annual pace in December with production up 5.3% and investment up 6%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) releases new economic forecasts on Monday. The data is likely to show a modest downgrade to growth expectations in 2019, currently estimated at 3.7%. However it’s likely that IMF economists will factor in more Chinese economic stimulus and some resolution to the US-China trade dispute.

On Tuesday in the US, data on existing home sales is released. Economists tip a 0.6% fall in December sales after a 1.9% lift the previous month. Sales stand at 3-month highs. Also the usual weekly data on chain store sales is released on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the influential Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index is expected to be released with the House Price index and weekly data on mortgage applications. Over the last seven months US house prices have been rising 0.2-0.4% per month.

In the US on Thursday the weekly data on new claims for unemployment insurance is released together with the leading index and the Kansas Federal Reserve manufacturing index. The leading index rose by a modest 0.2% in November after a 0.3% decline in October and 0.6% increase in September. Also on Thursday in the US the Markit ‘flash’ services and manufacturing indexes are issued. And similar ‘flash’ surveys are issued in France, Germany, Eurozone and Japan.

Friday in the US

So far, no indicators are set down for release. Previously, data on durable goods orders and new home sales were scheduled to be issued.

US earnings season

The US profit-reporting (earnings) season gets into full swing in the coming week. S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 14.3% rise in fourth-quarter earnings, lower than the 20.1%  growth forecast in October, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. So far, the earnings season is progressing well with share markets supported by better-than-expected results from global investment banks.

Amongst companies reporting:

Tuesday: IBM; Johnson & Johnson, Haliburton.

Wednesday: Procter & Gamble; Ford Motor.

Thursday: American Airlines; E*Trade; Intel; ResMed.

Friday: Colgate-Palmolive.