The Week Ahead

Data on employment, lending finance and housing finance will dominate local headlines, while investors will keep their eyes on the US monthly budget statement.

It’s another big week for data releases, with employment numbers, housing finance and lending finance due out. Private surveys on business and consumer confidence are also expected.

The Reserve Bank of Australia mostly takes a breather, although its deputy governor will give a speech, while little company news is scheduled.

Offshore, more data due out includes the United States’ monthly budget statement and retail sales data, as well as the CPI read in China.

Reserve Bank of Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia will have some downtime between unveiling its decision on the official cash rate and releasing minutes of its monthly board meeting.

On Wednesday, deputy governor Philip Lowe will speak at the Sydney Institute.


Official employment data will be closely watched this week, as will private surveys on business confidence and consumer confidence.

On Tuesday, NAB will release its monthly business survey for February.

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish January housing finance data, with economists tipping a 1 per cent fall.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index is due.

On Thursday, the ABS will unveil employment data, with economists expecting the jobless rate to hold steady at 6 per cent.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer inflation expectations survey for March will be released.

On Friday, lending finance data from the ABS is expected.


The calm after the storm of half-year earnings season continues in company news this week.

On Tuesday, Ramsay Health Care has its record date.

On Wednesday, Rio Tinto has its record date.

On Friday, Arrium has its record date.


Offshore, investors will be paying attention to the United States’ monthly budget statement and retail sales data, as well as the CPI read in China.

On Saturday, in China, February trade balance data will be revealed, with a lift to $14.5 billion expected. Exports are tipped to rise by 7.5 per cent, while imports are forecast to lift by 7.6 per cent year on year.

On Sunday, in China, February CPI data is expected to fall to 2.0 per cent, while PPI data is expected to slip to negative 1.9 per cent.

On Wednesday, in the United Kingdom, January industrial production data is expected.

In the United States, January wholesale inventories are expected to print at 0.5 per cent.

On Thursday, in the United States, the February budget statement is tipped to show a deficit of negative $220 billion.

In China, February year-on-year retail sales are expected to increase 13.5 per cent, while industrial production for the same period is tipped to lift 9.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, European industrial production for January will print.

On Friday, in the United States, February retail sales are forecast to lift by 0.2 per cent.

The February import price index is expected to lift to 0.6 per cent, while January business inventories are tipped to print at 0.4 per cent.

The Bloomberg consumer comfort survey is also due.

In Japan, January industrial production data will be disclosed.

Late Friday, in the United States, February PPI is forecast to print at 0.2 per cent, while the University of Michigan confidence survey will be unveiled.

Wrapping up

Speeches to watch this week will be delivered by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, EnergyAustralia chairman Graham Bradley and Dick Smith chief executive officer Nick Abboud.

On Monday, chairman of HSBC and EnergyAustralia Graham Bradley will speak at a lunch hosted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Monday evening in Paris, United States Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia president Charles Plosser will give a speech.

On Tuesday, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Treasurer Andrew Barr will speak at a lunch run by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

On Wednesday, in Brisbane, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Canberra, Lowy Institute for International Policy executive director Michael Fullilove will speak at the National Press Club.

In Sydney, Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson will speak at an AICD lunch.

In Adelaide, deputy Premier John Rau will speak at a CEDA afternoon tea.

In Melbourne, General Electric chief executive officer for Australia and New Zealand Steven Sargent will speak at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia breakfast.

On Thursday, in Canberra, Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser will speak at the National Press Club.

In Melbourne, Dick Smith Electronics chief executive officer Nick Abboud will speak at a lunch run by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.

On Friday, in Brisbane, Australian Department of Industry chief economist Mark Cully will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Perth, Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu will speak at a CEDA lunch.

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