By Craig James

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank releases minutes of the Board meeting held a fortnight earlier. The Reserve Bank Board left interest rates unchanged for the fifth month and there were scant changes made to the accompanying statement. So it would be surprising if the Board minutes provided much in the way of new information.

Also on Tuesday CommBank releases its latest indicator of economy-wide sales (Business Sales Indicator) while the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases data on the imports of goods (merchandise imports). Given these figures are for the September month, they are one of the timeliest indicators of economic activity. The main complication is that the weaker Aussie dollar may inflate the estimates of imports, via higher prices.

On Thursday the ABS releases the detailed labour market figures for September. While data on employment by industry won’t be available (the quarterly figures were released last month) there are break-ups on a demographic and regional basis.

Also on Thursday Reserve Bank Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) Malcolm Edey delivers a presentation at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association's (ISDA) 2015 Annual Australia conference in Sydney. 

Plenty to monitor on overseas markets

On Monday in China a raft of indicators are released. Most interest will be in the economic growth figures for the September quarter. Growth is tipped to have eased from the 7% annualised rate recorded in the June quarter.

However on the same day, data on investment,
production and retail sales are expected for the
September month. While production growth has softened to a 6% annualised rate, retail spending is growing at a 10.4% annualised rate in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. It takes a while for this to sink in – the second largest economy on the planet is recording 10% annual growth in real consumer spending.

In the US, the week kicks off on Monday with the National Association of Home Builders activity index. Economists expect this was steady at 62 in October.

Also on Tuesday, yet more indicators on the housing market are released. Data on building permits and housing starts are released with economists tipping a small 0.5% fall in permits but expect a near 2% lift in starts (commencements).

Also on Tuesday is the usual weekly data on chain store sales. While on Wednesday the weekly report on mortgage transactions – purchases and refinancing – is also scheduled.

On Thursday, the focus shifts back to the US housing sector. The monthly home price index is issued together with existing home sales. In August home prices lifted 0.6% to stand 5.8% on a year ago. Some are worried that prices are lifting a little too quickly in some cities, but generally, the supply of homes is rising. The strength of the housing market is highlighted with existing home sales and economists expect that sales lifted just over 1% In September.

Also on Thursday in the US weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is issued together with the leading index, national activity index and the Kansas City Federal Reserve survey of business activity.

And on Friday so-called “flash” or preliminary readings on manufacturing activity are expected in the US, Europe and Japan. While the value of producing an extra indicator can be questioned, (the final reading is released around a week later) some analysts continue to follow the data.

Sharemarkets, interest rates, commodities and currencies

The US earnings season cranks up a notch in the coming week and there are around 30 companies to report earnings on Monday. Amongst those to report are Morgan Stanley and 

On Tuesday, almost 60 companies are to issue earnings including Lockheed Martin, Verizon and Yahoo!

On Wednesday, around 120 companies are scheduled to report profit data including Texas Instruments, CoreLogic, eBay, American Express, Baker Hughes, Boeing, General Motors and Coca Cola.

On Thursday, around 190 companies will report earnings. Included are Amazon, AT&T, E*TRADE, Microsoft, ResMed, NASDAQ, 3M, Caterpillar, Eli Lilly and McDonalds.

And on Friday, almost 25 report profit figures including American Airlines and Procter & Gamble.