By Craig James

A raft of key indicators is released over the coming week but the spotlight is primarily on the job market and consumer confidence figures.

In Australia, the week kicks off on Monday with a public holiday in all states and territories except Western Australia and Queensland. But the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle is scheduled to deliver a speech to the Global FX Code of Conduct Launch in Hong Kong via video link.

On Tuesday, National Australia Bank releases the monthly business survey while ANZ and Roy Morgan issue weekly consumer confidence figures. And the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases the Overseas Arrivals and Departures publication.

Aussie businesses are clearly in good shape. The NAB business conditions index rose from +12.3 points to +14.3 points in April, a 9-year high. And the business confidence index rose from +6.5 points to +12.9 points, a 7-year high.

Even consumer confidence has been improving, hitting an 8-week high in the latest week.

In terms of the arrivals/departures figures, most interest is in the inflow of Chinese tourists, rising at a double-digit annual rate. And the credit card data should continue the trend of consumers cutting outstanding debt.

On Wednesday, another reading of consumer sentiment is issued – this time the monthly survey conducted by Melbourne Institute and Westpac. The monthly survey is largely a check on the weekly version. The same questions are asked by both surveys and the sample sizes of each survey are broadly the same.

The main benefit of the June consumer sentiment survey is an additional quarterly question about where consumers believe are the wisest places to put new savings.

In the March survey, “Real Estate” had its lowest ‘favoured’ reading on record (since 1973) at 11.6 per cent. Most people favoured putting new savings in the bank as the wisest place for savings (29.0 per cent of respondents).

On Thursday, the ABS releases the May jobs data. And it will need to be pretty special to top the April figures. 

In April, employment rose by 37,400 in April after rising by 60,000 in March. And the unemployment rate fell from 5.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent. The only glitch was hours worked, which fell by 0.3 per cent. But even on this measure, hours worked were up by 1.3 per cent over the year – the strongest annual growth in 11 months.

The Commonwealth Bank Group is tipping no change in employment in May and no change in the jobless rate.

Also on Thursday, the Reserve Bank releases its quarterly Bulletin – a report containing articles that provide valuable insights into Reserve Bank thinking on key issues.

And the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, delivers another speech on Thursday, this time to the Thomson Reuters industry event in Sydney.

Overseas: US Federal Reserve hogs the limelight

After an unusually quiet week, the US economic calendar is more congested in the coming week. And on Thursday, the monthly download of activity data is released in China.

The week begins on Monday in the US, with the May data on the Federal Budget to be released. The budget deficit has taken a back seat to other issues in recent years but that could all change with flagged tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

In the US on Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issues the May survey of small business sentiment. On the same day, the producer price index for May is released, while the usual weekly data on chain store sales is also issued.

The US Federal Reserve also meets over Tuesday and Wednesday with the decision announced at 4.00am AEST on Thursday. Economists are in broad agreement that the Fed will lift rates by a quarter of a percent. But the commentary will be important in guiding future rate expectations.

In the US on Wednesday, the usual weekly data on mortgage applications is released together with data on consumer prices and retail sales for May. The core measure of consumer prices (excludes food and energy) may have risen 0.2 per cent in the month to keep the annual rate stubbornly below 2 per cent. 

Retail sales may have risen 0.2 per cent in May after a solid 0.4 per cent gain in April.

In China on Wednesday, the May data on retail sales, industrial production and investment are released – potentially market-moving for the Aussie dollar.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released with import/export prices, Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey and production. 

And on Friday in the US, housing starts, capital flows data, consumer sentiment and the NAHB housing market index are scheduled.