THE WEEK AHEAD

All eyes will be on the Reserve Bank’s rates decision, while GDP, inflation and retail trade prints lead a bevy of economic data.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is back in the spotlight this week as investors eagerly wait to see if the board will go two-in-a-row and drop the already historically low cash rate even further.

Outside the central bank, economic data is in great supply with reads on Australia’s GDP and international trade balance scheduled, alongside a private survey on inflation expectations.

The Australian Industry Group will also unveil all of its latest indices of the performance of manufacturing, services and construction.

Offshore, it’s an almost exclusively American affair with the latest reads on unemployment and international trade sure to garner attention.

Reserve Bank

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since the central bank’s shock rate cut in May, but time flies when the cash rate’s at a record low.

On Monday, the Reserve Bank will release its index of commodities prices for the month.

But it is Tuesday’s central bank board meeting that will dominate the week’s news. Very few are expecting another rate this month, however there is a growing expectation that the official cash rate will be dropped to 2.5 per cent by year’s end.

Local data

A busy few days for local data are ahead with key reads on current account balance, GDP and trade balance due out.

Monday brings two important reads from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retail trade figures for April are on tap, while company profits for the March quarter will also be released as part of the Business Indicators publication covering the three months to March.

Elsewhere, the TD-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for May is due out, as is the Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index for May.

On Tuesday, the ABS will release Australia’s current account balance for March.

Wednesday will deliver Australia’s GDP read for the March quarter. Economists are expecting economic growth to have lifted by around 1.1 per cent in the quarter.

Elsewhere, the Australian Industry Group’s performance of services index for May is due out.

On Thursday, the nation’s trade balance for April will be unveiled.

Friday will bring the Australian Industry Group’s performance of construction index for May.

Corporate

It’s a quiet week on the corporate front, with scheduled company news thin on the ground.

Wednesday is the date of record for National Australia Bank.

Friday is the date payable for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ shareholders.

Offshore

Monday will deliver Japanese vehicle sales for May.

On Tuesday, construction spending for April and the ISM manufacturing index for May are due out of the US. Bloomberg expects spending to have lifted by 0.6 per cent in the month, with the index tipped to print at 50.5.

Wednesday delivers the latest read on the US trade balance. Bloomberg is expecting the nation’s deficit to have widened to $41 billion.

Vehicle sales are also due out of the US, while the HSBC Services PMI for May is expected out of China.

On Thursday, US factory orders for April will be released, with the expectation centering on a one per cent lift. The Federal Reserve beige book is also slated for release.

Friday will see Japan unveil its leading index for April.

Late on Friday night, the latest read on the US unemployment rate is set to be unveiled. Bloomberg is expecting the rate to hold steady at 7.5 per cent.

Wrapping up

On Tuesday, Financial Services Council , chief executive officer John Brogden will address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australian luncheon in Sydney.

Elsewhere, Coles managing director Ian McLeod will deliver a business briefing at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia lunch in Sydney.

Wednesday will see Tourism Australia’s executive general manager of consumer marketing, Nick Baker, take part in CEDA’s ‘lunch on the run’ series, with an installment focused on the power of digital and social media.

In Canberra, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet will address the National Press Club of Australia, delivering a speech entitled ‘The Clean Energy Future plan one year on: How carbon pricing is working?’

In Sydney, NSW transport minister Gladys Berejiklian will take part in an AMCHAM business briefing.

Thursday will see ‘green journalist’ Bill McKibbon address the National Press Club. He will deliver a speech entitled ‘Global warming: do the maths’.

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