Ruby Tuesday

The week kicks-off when the regular weekly reading on consumer confidence is published by ANZ and Roy Morgan and lending finance data is issued the same day by the  Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Total new lending commitments (housing, personal, commercial and lease finance) rose by 0.1% in July to $70.5 billion. But commitments are down by 0.1% on the year. And the minutes of the last Reserve Bank Board meeting will be released. The Board’s neutral policy stance remains intact, with the record period of interest rate stability expected to extend for the foreseeable future. Commentary on the housing market, business investment and wages growth will be keenly observed.

Waiting for Wednesday

Overseas arrivals and departures data is issued by the ABS. Over the year to July, a record 1,433,300 tourists came to Australia from China, up by 9.4% on a year earlier. And a record 339,200 Indian tourists travelled to Australia, up by 19.5%. And the Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank, Guy Debelle, delivers a speech to the 2018 Citi Conference in Sydney.

Sweet Thursday

The September job market figures are released by the ABS. CBA Group economists forecast jobs growth of 30,000 in September. The unemployment rate is tipped to remain steady at 6-year lows of 5.3% with the workforce participation rate also unchanged at 65.7%.

Looking overseas…

In the US next week, the focus will be on the US Federal Reserve meeting minutes, retail sales, industrial production and housing market data. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated economic growth (GDP) report together with inflation and economic activity indicators headline the ‘top-shelf’ data releases in China.

On Monday in the US, retail sales, business inventories and the New York Empire State Manufacturing Index are released. Economists tip a solid 0.5% lift in retail sales in September.

On Tuesday, Chinese inflation data is scheduled. Adverse weather conditions and pig disease pushed up fresh food prices in August. Annual consumer prices are expected to lift from 2.3% to 2.5% in September. And US data on industrial production, the JOLTS survey of job openings, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, capital flows and the regular weekly chain store sales figures are all issued.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases minutes from its 25-26 September meeting. The FOMC raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 0.25% to 2-2.25%. And data on building permits, housing starts and the regular weekly mortgage applications are released.

On Thursday, in the US the influential Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing gauge, weekly claims for unemployment insurance and the US Conference Board leading economic index are all scheduled.

On Friday, existing home sales round-out a busy data docket in the US. Following four successive months of declines, sales of previously-owned homes were unchanged in August as buyers continued to grapple with rising home prices and tight inventories. Sales are expected to have fallen by 0.3% in September. Similarly it’s a big day for data releases in China on Friday. Retail sales and production data are issued, together with investment figures. But the most anticipated data release is the September quarter economic growth (GDP) data. Annual GDP growth is expected to moderate to 6.6%, down from 6.7%.

And on Saturday, Chinese house prices are scheduled for release. Annual growth of house prices lifted to a 1-year high in August.

US companies reporting

The US earnings (profit-reporting) season moves up a gear in the coming week. According to FactSet, S&P500 company earnings are estimated to have grown by 19.2% in the September quarter. Amongst the companies expected to report earnings:

Monday: Bank of America, Biomerica and Charles Schwab.

Tuesday: BlackRock, Domino’s, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Netflix and UnitedHealth.

Wednesday: Abbott Laboratories, Alcoa, Kaiser Aluminium, Kinder Morgan, Northern Trust, Steel Dynamics and US Bancorp.

Thursday: American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, Delta Airlines, E*Trade, eBay, Nucor, PayPal, Philip Morris, Snap-on and Travelers. 

Friday: Honeywell, Manpower, Procter & Gamble, Schlumberger, State Street and USA Technologies.