The week ahead brings a glut of important economic indicators, headlined by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last interest rate decision for the year.
Locally, highly anticipated gross domestic product data will be released, along with current account balance figures and labour force data. Offshore, jobless claims data, durable goods order figures and factory order numbers are due in the US. Elsewhere, both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank will make interest rate decisions.
In corporate news, Ten Network Holdings and Bank of Queensland will hold annual general meetings, while Australia Post’s chief executive and managing director, Ahmed Fahour, will speak at a corporate function.
On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its December policy meeting, where it will make its decision on interest rates for the month.
The meeting will be the central bank’s last for 2011, and the board will not meet again until February 7.
Last month, the central bank moved to cut rates for the first time in 12 months, noting differences in economic strength across industries and defying economists’ expectations.
Analysts are divided on the direction the RBA may take, but are leaning towards another 0.25 point cut, leaving the official cash rate at 4.25 per cent.
On Thursday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens will deliver a speech at the inaugural Warren Hogan Memorial Lecture in Sydney. Investors will listen carefully for any reflection on Tuesday’s decision, and what the bank has in mind for monetary policy in the future.
Monday sees the Australian Bureau of Statistics release business indicators data for October, while the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australian Industry Group performance of services index for November is due. Elsewhere, ANZ Banking Group will release its job advertisements survey for November, while the TD Securities-Melbourne Institute monthly inflation gauge is also on tap.
On Tuesday, the ABS will release current account balance data for September.
Wednesday sees the release of highly anticipated third quarter gross domestic product data. Economists are predicting the figures to show the economy grew by 1.2 per cent in the September quarter. Elsewhere, the Australian Industry Group will release its performance of construction index for November.
On Thursday, labour force data for October is set for release. Analysts are tipping the data to show a 10,000 lift in employment for the month, leaving the unemployment rate at 5.2 per cent. The amount of hours worked is expected to have grown by 0.2 per cent in the month.
Corporate news thins out in the week ahead as we move closer to the quiet Christmas period.
On Thursday, Bank of Queensland holds its annual general meeting, while Ten Network Holdings will hold its annual general meeting on Friday.
Overseas, US factory orders data for October is due on Monday, along with the ISM non-manufacturing index for November. The ISM index is expected to show a reading of 53.0, indicating expansion.
Durable goods order numbers for October are also due.
In Europe, the European Monetary Union November purchasing manager index for services is on tap. November Sentix investor confidence data and October retail sales figures are also due.
Tuesday brings IBD/TIPP economic optimism data for November in the United States.
On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration will release it petroleum status report for the week, while consumer credit data for October is also on tap.
In the United Kingdom, October manufacturing production and industrial production data is set for release.
Thursday brings US jobless claims figures, along with October wholesales inventories data. In Europe, the Bank of England will hold its monthly policy meeting, where it will make interest rate decision for December. The European Central bank will also meet to decide on rates.
On Friday, US international trade data is due, along with consumer sentiment figures. The Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for December will also be published.
Elsewhere, the UK producer price index for November will be released, along with non-EU trade balance data for November. October goods trade balance data is also awaited.
Rounding off the week, Monday sees Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans speak on the US economic outlook.
On Tuesday, US Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo addresses a US Senate banking committee.
Wednesday sees Australia Post chief executive and managing director Ahmed Fahour speak at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia function in Sydney.