THE WEEK AHEAD

Inflation figures highlight the economic calendar, while Oil Search and Newcrest release production reports.

It’s a shorter, quieter week ahead with markets closed on Thursday for Anzac Day.

However, the latest quarterly read on inflation is due out from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as well as a scattering of private releases.

Offshore, the highlights include manufacturing data out of China, first-quarter GDP from the US and a Japanese inflation update.

On the corporate front, Woodside Petroleum’s annual general meeting will be of interest following the group’s recent decision to scrap its current Browse project as well as its cessation of talks regarding the expansion of its Pluto LNG venture.

Reserve Bank

A quiet week for central bank news, with only one speaking engagement from the Reserve Bank's executive.

On Wednesday, deputy governor Philip Lowe will deliver a speech entitled ‘The journey to financial reform’ to the Australian Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Shanghai, China.

Local data

It’s a scarce week for local data with only a single release due from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the market closing for Anzac Day.

On Monday, CommSec will release 'State of the States', a quarterly report of the performance of state and territory economies.

Wednesday delivers the sole ABS release of the week, the quarterly read for inflation. The March quarter consumer price index is tipped to show an increase in prices of between 0.5-0.7 per cent in the quarter, and a lift of 2.6-2.9 per cent over the year.

Elsewhere, The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations indicator of employment for March will be released.

On Thursday, the local market will be closed for the Anzac Day public holiday.

Corporate

It is a slower week in company news ahead of the onslaught of the banking sector’s earnings reports at the end of the month.

On Tuesday, both Oil Search and Newcrest will release their quarterly production and sales reports.

Elsewhere, Mirabela Nickel will release its quarterly activities report while Insurance Australia Group will hold a business update call.

Wednesday will see Woodside Petroleum hold its annual general meeting in Perth while Buderim Ginger will convene its AGM in Yandina, Queensland.

Friday is the date of record for Southern Cross Media shareholders.

Offshore

The latest read on China’s manufacturing sector will vie with first-quarter GDP out of the US for the most watched offshore economic release this week.

On Tuesday, the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for April is due out of both China and the US.

Elsewhere, existing home sales for March are expected out of the US. Bloomberg is forecasting a 0.6 per cent lift on the previous month.

Still in America, Wednesday delivers the March read on new home sales. Bloomberg expects a lift of 2.2 per cent.

Thursday delivers the United Kingdom’s GDP for the first quarter, durable goods orders for March out of the US, as well as Japan’s consumer price index for March. Economists are expecting a 1.7 per cent fall in US durable goods in the month.

Also due out of Japan is the Markit/JMMA PMI for April.

On Friday, focus shifts back to the US, with first-quarter GDP and the University of Michigan’s confidence survey for April due out. Economists are expecting the US economy to have grown by 3 per cent in the quarter.

Wrapping up

On Monday Federal Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin will speak at the indigenous series ‘Achieving indigenous targets’ in Perth.

Tuesday will see Aurizon chief executive officer Lance Hockridge address a committee for the economic development of Australia CEO series event in Sydney.

Elsewhere, Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien will discuss regulation, investment and energy prices at a CEDA luncheon in Melbourne.

On Wednesday, Ita Buttrose will deliver an address to the National Press Club entitled ‘The society I want to live in’.