By Craig James

The US presidential election will dominate proceedings over the week. In Australia, there are few highlights, but the monthly business survey and the data on home loans will attract the most interest.

Job ads

The week kicks off in Australia on Monday, with ANZ releasing the October report on job advertisements. In the past, this was a trusted gauge of labour demand, but nowadays more people are going straight to company websites and using social media to scour for available positions.

Job advertisements fell from 4-year highs in September, down by 0.3% in the month. But it was only the second fall in job ads in the past five months. Job ads are up 3.7% on a year ago.

Monthly business survey

There is a bevy of events scheduled on Tuesday. Roy Morgan and ANZ release their weekly gauge of consumer sentiment. In addition, the Head of the International department at Reserve Bank, Chris Ryan, delivers a speech in Hong Kong.

But the main interest on Tuesday is likely to be in the latest monthly business survey from National Australia Bank. In September, the NAB business conditions index rose from +6.8 points to +7.7 points (long-term average +4.8 points). The business confidence index rose from +5.6 points to +5.9 points (long-term average +5.8 points).

Consumer confidence

On Wednesday, the Melbourne Institute and Westpac release the monthly variant of consumer confidence for November. The questions asked in the survey are the same as the weekly measure. The number of respondents is around the same also. But once a quarter (the next release being in December) respondents are asked about their views on the wisest places to put new savings.

Housing finance – new lending commitments

On Thursday the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases September figures for housing finance – new lending commitments. Based on a survey by the Australian Bankers Association, the number of new lending commitments provided to budding home owners may have fallen by 2.44% in the month. And the total value of all owner-occupier and investment loans may have fallen by 2%.

Tourist numbers

Also on Thursday, the ABS will release data on tourist arrivals and departures as well as inflows and outflows of immigrants. In August, tourist arrivals fell by 0.2%. And departures fell by 0.8%. Arrivals are up 10.8% on the year with departures up 4.5%.

On Friday, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle participates in panel discussion at FINSIA’s Regulatory Panel.

Overseas: US Election to dominate investor attention

It is a rare week when there are no ‘top shelf’ US economic indicators to report on. But that is the case in the week ahead, allowing even more attention to be devoted to the US Election. In China, trade and inflation data will be released. There are five talks from US Federal Reserve presidents over the week.

The week kicks off on Monday in the US with the release of consumer credit figures and the employment trends report. Economists expect that credit grew by US$19 billion in September after a US$25.87 billion lift in August.

On Tuesday, the US the presidential and congressional elections are held, with results filtering through over Asian trade on Wednesday. At present, the presidential election is too close to call while control of the Senate and House of Representatives also could shift.

At present, Republicans control the Senate 54-46. And Republicans have 246 seats of the 435 seat House of Representatives. Polls suggest that Democrats have a 65% chance of taking control of the Senate. But the task of winning the House of Representatives is far more difficult. The Washington Post currently projects Republicans maintaining control. Democrats would need to win all “safe” seats, “predicted Democrats”, all “toss up” seats and even a few of the “predicted Republicans” seats to control the House.

In terms of US data on Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Businesses release the business optimism index for small businesses. The JOLTS survey of job openings is also issued on Tuesday with the weekly report on chain store sales.

In China on Tuesday, the October trade data (exports and imports) is released. Other data has shown a lift in the pace of the Chinese economy, so investors will want to see confirmation in the trade data (especially imports).

On Wednesday in China, the October data on producer and consumer prices is released. Business deflation ended in September with producer prices now up 0.1% on a year ago.

In the US on Wednesday, the September data on wholesale sales and inventories is released together with the usual weekly report on mortgage transactions – purchases and refinancing.

On Thursday in the US, October data on the federal budget is released, alongside the weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance.

And on Friday, the November consumer sentiment estimates are released.

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