THE WEEK AHEAD

Reports from Commonwealth Bank, Wesfarmers and Santos headline a huge earnings week, while Australian and US inflation updates will be closely watched.

The corporate sector takes centre stage this week as August earnings season builds to its peak. Releases from the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Wesfarmers and Santos will be the biggest news in a packed week.

Domestically, private data will dominate economic releases, with the latest surveys on business confidence and inflation expectations set to be unveiled.

The second speech by Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Guy Debelle in as many weeks will also be of interest.

Offshore, the focus will be on the United States, with the latest reads on inflation, retail sales and housing starts all scheduled for release.

Reserve Bank

It's a quieter week for the central bank after last week's release of the quarterly statement on monetary policy and the historic decision to cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 per cent.

On Tuesday, Jenny Hancock, senior manager in the payments system stability and payments policy department will take part in a panel discussion at the Risk Australia 2013 conference in Sydney.

On Friday, assistant governor Guy Debelle will deliver a speech ‘the impact of payments system and prudential reforms on the RBA's provision of liquidity’ at an Australian Financial Markets Association and RBA briefing in Sydney.

Local data

Private surveys will be the focus this week, with two key reads from Westpac Banking Corporation/Melbourne Institute set to give an insight into consumer perceptions of the economy.

Monday delivers the June read on lending finance out of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

On Tuesday, National Australia Bank will release its survey of business confidence and conditions in July.

Wednesday brings the wage price index for the second quarter, alongside the Westpac Banking Corporation/Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index for August. Economists are expecting a lift of 0.8 per cent in the WPI in the quarter.

On Thursday, the Westpac Banking Corporation/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer unemployment and inflation expectations for August will be unveiled.

Average weekly earnings data for May will also be released out of the ABS.

Corporate

A huge week of corporate data as earnings season hits its stride. The headline releases will be from the likes of Wesfarmers, Commonwealth Bank, Santos and Westfield.

Monday sees full-year results released for Newcrest Mining and UGL, while James Hardie will unveil its first-quarter performance and GPT Group will release its first-half sales results.

On Tuesday, JB Hi-Fi, Stockland and Bradken will unveil full-year results and Mirabela will release its first-half sales figures.

Wednesday delivers a slew of releases, headlined by the full-year results from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Full-year results are also expected from Carsales.com.au, Computershare, CSL, Domino’s, Goodman Fielder, Primary Healthcare, Southern Cross and WorleyParsons.

Leighton Holdings and OZ Minerals will release first-half sales while Singapore Telecom will unveil its first-quarter numbers.

Thursday will deliver full-year numbers for Forge, Goodman Group, Wesfarmers and Service Stream.

Meanwhile, AMP, APN and Westfield will unveil their first-half results.

 On Friday, ANZ will deliver a trading update, while Duet, Murchison and Pharmaxis will release their full-year figures.

Santos will unveil its first-half numbers.

Offshore

With virtually no new releases due out of China this week, the United States will once again be the focus of offshore data.

On Monday, Japan will lift the lid on its second quarter GDP, as well as industrial production for June.

Tuesday deliver the consumer and producer price indices for July out of the United Kingdom.

Wednesday will deliver a glut of economic data out of the US, headlined by the import price index for July, with Bloomberg tipping a 0.8 per cent increase in the month. Business inventories for June will be released, alongside the July producer price index.

Retail sales for the same month will also be released, with economists tipping a 0.4 per cent lift.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England will release the minutes of its latest board meeting.

Thursday brings the latest read on inflation in the US through the consumer price index for July. Bloomberg expects a modest 0.2 per cent lift in the month.

On Friday, American Industrial production for July will be released, with Bloomberg expecting a 0.3 per cent increase in the month. The NAHB housing market index will also be released.

Later on Friday night, housing starts and building permits for July will be unveiled in the US. Bloomberg expects a 7.7 per cent lift in the former and a 2.9 per cent jump in the latter.

Wrapping up

Sunday is firming as the day that will see Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott engage in their first debate of the election campaign at the National Press Club in Canberra. 

Tuesday will see Teresa Dyson, chair of the Board of Taxation, address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney.

On Wednesday, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce will address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business briefing in Melbourne.

On Thursday, Australia Post’s state manager network WA, Dom Thatcher, will address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia function in Perth on the subject of the ‘innovation in the digital era’.

In Sydney, the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia will hold a special event at which former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani will speak.

In Adelaide, Wolf Blass, executive chairman of the Wolf Blass Group of Companies, will address an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia business luncheon.

Friday will see Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes take part in the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia women in leadership series. Mr Brooks will take part in a discussion with Helen Conway, director of Workplace Gender Equality Agency in Melbourne, on the subject of ‘diversity in the workplace: it starts at the top’.