THE WEEK AHEAD

A shortened week will bring the latest read on unemployment, consumer and business confidence and housing finance.

Despite the shortened week for Monday’s Queen's Birthday public holiday, there will be a number of important data drops.

The latest read on unemployment from the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be of most significance, however, a trio of reads in the Westpac-Melbourne Institute series will also be of interest.

With no scheduled news expected out of China, the offshore focus will be Japan and the United States, where the first-quarter current account balance is due.

On the corporate front, only a handful of EGMs will garner much attention, with next to no scheduled company news set for release.

Reserve Bank

It’ll be a quiet week for the Reserve Bank of Australia, with no scheduled releases or appearances. After holding the official cash rate at a record low of 2.75 per cent this week, investors will be awaiting the release of the minutes of the June board meeting a week from Tuesday.

Local data

It’s also a busy week for local data, with the latest reads on unemployment and consumer confidence expected.

On Tuesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics will unveil the April read on housing finance. The total value of loans is expected to have decreased by 1 per cent.

Elsewhere, the National Australia Bank survey of business confidence and conditions for May is released.

Wednesday will deliver the April read on lending finance out of the ABS.

Also expected is the Melbourne Institute/Westpac Banking Corporation consumer confidence index for June.

On Thursday, the big read of the week is released in May labour force figures. The unemployment rate is tipped to lift to 5.5 per cent, while 10,000 jobs are expected to have been lost.

Melbourne Institute/Westpac Banking Corporation will also unveil its June survey of consumer expectation for inflation and unemployment.

Corporate

It’s yet another very quiet week on the corporate front with only a handful of EGMs drawing much attention in a shortened week on account of Monday’s public holiday.

Wednesday will see Yowie Group convene an extraordinary general meeting in Western Australia, where shareholders will be asked to approve a capital raising.

On Thursday, Argo Mining will hold an extraordinary general meeting in Melbourne.

Friday is the date of record for Bank of Queensland shareholders and the date payable for AngloGold Ashanti shareholders.

Elsewhere, Duet Group and Titan Energy will convene extraordinary general meetings.

Offshore

With no scheduled news out of China, the foreign focus for news this week will be the United States and Japan.

Monday will bring Japan’s first-quarter gross domestic product as well as its current account balance for April. Bloomberg is expecting GDP to increase by 0.9 per cent in the quarter, while the current account balance is tipped to come in at ¥412.5 billion.

Still in Japan, the nation’s consumer confidence index for May will be released.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom will lift the lid on its industrial production figures for April.

Wednesday delivers wholesale inventories for April out of the US, with Bloomberg tipping a rise of 0.2 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan will deliver its most recent statement of monetary policy and set its target rate, while April’s read on industrial production is due out of the EU.

On Friday the US will release its import price index for May, which is tipped to be flat. Still in America, the May reads on retail sales and business inventories are due out, with Bloomberg tipping a 0.4 per cent for the former and a 0.3 per cent increase for the latter.

Late on Friday, the US will unveil its current account balance for the first quarter. Bloomberg expects the deficit will widen to $114 billion. Also set for release is May’s producer price index, which is tipped to lift by 0.1 per cent. Industrial production figures for the month are also on tap.

Wrapping up

On Tuesday, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill will join Flinders University vice chancellor Michael Barber for a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia panel discussing the State of the State in Adelaide.

On Wednesday, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Anderson will address the National Press Club in Canberra.

Atlas Iron executive chairman David Flanagan will address an Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Leaders’ Edge lunch in Bunbury, Western Australia.

In Brisbane, Major General Peter Cosgrove and Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith will also address an AICD Leaders’ Edge lunch.

In Auckland, Simon Moutter, Telecom New Zealand’s chief executive officer, will address a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event.

In Perth, former general managers of business improvement for Rio Tinto Lucy Stocker and Fern Dyball will address a women in leadership event for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

On Friday, Telstra’s chief technology officer and head of innovation, Hugh Bradlow, will address a Trans-Tasman Business Circle event in Sydney.

In Melbourne, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine will deliver his first CEDA State of the State address.