THE WEEK AHEAD

As earnings season tapers off GDP, current accounts and trade balance prints will top headlines, along with the Reserve Bank's September board meeting.

The local focus transitions from earnings to data this week, with the latest reads on trade balance, GDP and Australia’s current account balance all due from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly board meeting will also hog the headlines.

A few earnings season stragglers will pique some interest in the corporate sphere, including Gunns and Perseus Mining.

Offshore, a slew of manufacturing data from China will be of interest, as will the latest read on America’s unemployment rate.

Local

With a new month and the end of the main earnings season, local data reclaims centre stage this week, with the latest reads on trade balance and gross domestic product set for release.

On Monday, building approvals for July and business indicators for June are due from the ABS. Economists expect no change in retail sales for the month.

The Australian Industry Group will release its performance of manufacturing index for August, while the RP Data/Rismark house price index and TD Securities inflation gauge for August are on tap.

Tuesday will deliver the current account balance for June, alongside retail sales for July.

On Wednesday, GDP data for the three months to June will be unveiled, with economists tipping 0.5 per cent growth in the quarter. The Australian Industry Group will also release its performance of services index for August.

Thursday delivers trade balance, imports and exports figures for July. Economists are expecting a modest $200 million deficit to be revealed.

On Friday the Australian Industry Group will lift the lid on its Performance of Construction Index for August.

Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s September board meeting will be the focus of the week.

Monday will see the central bank will release its monthly index of commodity prices.

On Tuesday, the board of the central bank will conduct its monthly meeting in Sydney. At its conclusion at 0230 AEST, the Reserve Bank will hand down its decision on the official cash rate. At its previous meeting the bank lowered the cash rate to a historic low of 25 basis points, and economists expect no change in rate settings at this month’s meeting.

Corporate

Some dawdlers from the August earnings deluge will release their full-year results, with Gunns kicking off the week on Monday.

AMP, AGL, ASX and Challenger will all trade ex-dividend.

Wednesday will deliver full-year earnings for Perseus Mining, Dart Mining and Sigma.

On Thursday, IAG and Lend Lease will trade ex-dividend.

Offshore

It’s a busy week in both China and the US, with key manufacturing reads due out of the former and August unemployment numbers set for release in the latter.

Sunday will see the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for August released in China. Bloomberg analysts expect the PMI to print at 50.5 after a read of 50.3 in July.

On Monday, the HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI is due out of China, with Bloomberg tipping a print of 50.1, which would put the read into expansionary territory after a read of 47.7 in July.

Tuesday will see non-manufacturing PMI for August released in China.

On Wednesday, the Markit United States final PMI for August will be released. Elsewhere, the HSBC/Markit services PMI is due out of China.   

Thursday will see the release of the US Federal Reserve beige book, as well as total vehicle sales data for August. The US trade balance for August will also be released, with Bloomberg tipping the deficit to narrow to $US38.4 billion.

On Friday, factory orders data for July is on tap from the US, alongside the second-quarter nonfarm productivity numbers.

Late on Friday, the US labour force figures for August will be released, with Bloomberg expecting the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.4 per cent.

Wrapping up

Tuesday will see non-executive director of BHP Billiton, Malcolm Broomhead, address an Australian Institute of Company Directors lunch in Perth.

On Wednesday, Wesfarmers director Diane Smith-Gander will address an Australian Institute of Company Directors leaders’ edge lunch in Geraldton.

On Thursday, US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich will address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Adelaide.

Friday will see chairman the Future Fund chairman, David Gonski, address a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Melbourne, entitled ‘Missed opportunities of our Asian engagement’.