THE WEEK AHEAD

A busy week for the Reserve Bank, with the release of board meeting minutes and its quarterly bulletin, while the US Federal Reserve's September meeting will dominate offshore headlines.

While there’s little of note on the local data front, the Reserve Bank of Australia has its diary full this week, with eyes set to pore over the minutes of its latest board meeting.

On the corporate front, a handful of companies are scheduled to report full-year earnings, including Oroton Group and Brickworks.

Offshore, the headline event is the US Federal Reserve’s September meeting, with investors across the globe awaiting a decision on the timeline for tapering its quantitative easing policy.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will front the media after the decision, while back home a speech from Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris will be of interest.

RBA

It’s a big week for the Reserve Bank of Australia, with the minutes of its latest board meeting, a conference appearance and the release of its quarterly bulletin all on the calendar.

On Tuesday, the central bank will release the minutes of its September board meeting. The board decided to hold the official cash rate at 2.5 per cent, so all eyes will be on the commentary surrounding the decision.

Wednesday will see RBA assistant governor Malcolm Edey take part in a panel at the Financial Services Institute of Australasia Conference 2013 in Sydney.

On Thursday, the Reserve Bank will publish its quarterly bulletin for the three months to September.

Local data

In comparison, it’s all quiet on the local data front.

On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the August read on new motor vehicle sales. The figures will be interesting in the context of industry claims that Labor’s now-repealed fringe tax benefits rules on cars had adversely affected the sector.

Corporate

There are a few late-comers left to report their full-year earnings, while several high-profile companies will pay their final dividends.

On Wednesday, TPG Telecom and Brickworks release their full-year results.

Friday is the date payable for Monadelphous, Telstra and WorleyParsons.

Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company and Oroton Group also release their full-year results.

Offshore

A big week overseas, with the US Federal Reserve’s monthly meeting set to be the headline event. A string of other key data including US inflation figures, home sales and the US and China leading indexes are also worth noting.

Tuesday will see the August read of inflation released out of the United States, with Bloomberg tipping a month-on-month increase of 0.2 per cent. The latest numbers of industrial production are also due, with forecasts centring on a 0.5 per cent lift.

In China, the Conference Board China leading index for August is released.

On Wednesday the August reads on housing starts and building permits for the US will be released, with Bloomberg tipping a 3.2 per cent increase in the former.

Meanwhile, the index of August property prices in China will be unveiled.

On Thursday, the biggest event of the week, the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee will conclude, with the US Fed’s policy-making arm set to hand down its decision on interest rates. More importantly it will decide on whether to start tapering its stimulus program. Analysts expect the $US80 billion ($A86 billion) per month bond-buying program will be scaled back by around $US10 billion.

The US’s second-quarter current account balance will be released, along with a pair of surveys from Bloomberg: consumer comfort and economic expectations.

Also due out are the US leading index for August and existing home sales for the month. Analysts expect a 0.4 per cent rise in the leading index, while Bloomberg is tipping a 2.5 per cent fall in home sales.

Wrapping up

On Tuesday, secretary of defence Dennis Richardson will speak as part of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle government boardroom series in Canberra.

Wednesday sees director of the Australian War Memorial Brendan Nelson address the National Press Club on Australia’s relationship with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Meanwhile, Macquarie Capital division director Andrew Newman will speak on innovation in public infrastructure financing at a Committee for Economic Development Australia luncheon in Perth.

Also in Perth, Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris discusses ‘Australia’s productivity imperative’ as part of Newport Consulting’s productivity series for the Trans-Tasman Business Circle.

Early Thursday morning, US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will front the media about the FOMC’s September rates decision and the latest on any moves to taper stimulus.

Back home, Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive officer Steven Wright will discuss the state’s tourism competitiveness at a CEDA lunch in Brisbane.

Finally, Friday sees New South Wales Minister for Women Pru Goward hosting part three of CEDA’s Women in Leadership series in Sydney, entitled ‘Quotas – it’s not a gender issue’. Guests include Arlene Tansey and Westpac’s Australian Financial Services chief executive Brian Hartzer.

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