The Week Ahead

Bank reporting season is in full swing, with first-half results from Westpac and NAB certain to dominate local headlines, while unemployment data will also be closely watched.

Bank reporting season will continue this week, with results from Westpac and NAB expected. Investors recently sold off ANZ even though its profit beat expectations, so it will be interesting to see if its rivals can keep the market happy.

Two state governments will hand down budgets this week, while official data on the jobless rate will be closely watched. The Reserve Bank is not expected to change the cash rate but its statement on the health of the economy this week will attract interest.

Offshore, both China and the US will divulge PMI numbers and trade balance figures.

RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia will hand down its interest rate decision and one of its assistant governors will be on the wires.

On Tuesday, the central bank will hold its monthly board meeting. The RBA is not expected to change the record low cash rate of 2.5 per cent, but the language in its statement after the meeting will be closely scrutinised.

On Friday, the RBA will publish its statement on monetary policy.

Assistant Governor for financial markets Guy Debelle will speak at a Women in Banking and Finance lunch in Sydney.

Local news

Key official data this week includes the unemployment rate and building approvals, while two state governments will hand down their budgets.

On Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish March building approvals data, with economists expecting a 5 per cent fall.

The Australian Industry Group will reveal its performance of services index for April, the TD Securities inflation gauge for the same month is expected and ANZ job ads are due.

On Tuesday, the ABS will divulge the trade balance for March, with an increased surplus of $1.7 billion forecast, and the Victorian government will unveil its state budget for 2014-15.

On Wednesday, the ABS will release retail sales figures for March, with a 0.5 per cent lift predicted.

Ai Group will publish its April performance of construction index.

On Thursday, the ABS will report unemployment data for April. Economists tip the economy will have added 9,000 new jobs but expect the unemployment rate to edge up to 5.9 per cent.

The government of Western Australia will hand down its state budget for 2014-15.

Corporate

Bank reporting season continues this week, with Westpac and NAB results expected.

On Monday, Westpac will release its first-half earnings results.

On Thursday, National Australia Bank will publish its first-half earnings report.

Caltex Australia, GPT Group and APN News and Media will hold their annual general meetings.

On Friday, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group will go ex-dividend.

Overseas

This week, both PMI numbers and the trade balance are due out across China and the US.

On Monday, in China, the HSBC China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for April will print.

On Tuesday, in the US, Markit will release the April services purchasing managers’ index and the ISM services gauge for the same month is due.

On Wednesday, in China, the HSBC China services purchasing managers’ index for April will print.

In the US, the March trade balance is tipped to show a deficit of $40.4bn.

On Thursday, in China, the trade balance for April is due, with a surplus of $US15bn expected.

In the US, weekly mortgage applications numbers are due, as well as consumer credit data for March and first-quarter non-farm productivity numbers are due.

On Friday, in China, April inflation is expected to print at 2.1 per cent and the producer price index for the same month is tipped at negative 1.8 per cent.

In the US, weekly jobless claims and the Bloomberg consumer comfort survey are due.

Late Friday, March wholesale inventories are expected to hold steady at 0.5 per cent.

Wrapping up

Both the chairman and managing director of Australia Post are scheduled to speak this week, which could be interesting given the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to sell the government-owned asset.

On Tuesday, in Perth, Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist Saul Eslake will speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch.

In Melbourne, Australia Post chairman John Stanhope will speak at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch.

On Wednesday, in Sydney, Linfox chief executive officer Michael Byrne will speak at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia lunch.

On Thursday, in Brisbane, Aurizon chief executive officer Lance Hockridge will speak at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle briefing.

On Friday, in Brisbane, Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Melbourne, Small Business Minister Bruce Billson and Monash University Professorial Fellow Graeme Samuel will speak at a CEDA lunch.

In Sydney, Australia Post managing director Ahmed Fahour will speak at an AmCham lunch.