THE WEEK AHEAD

Employment figures will be closely watched locally, while the mid-year earnings season kicks into top gear in the US.

Economic news takes a back seat in the week ahead as the beginning of the mid-year earnings season in the United States takes centre stage.

A host of massive names are set to reveal results, including Google, Microsoft Corp, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley eBay and Bank of America.

Locally, labour force data, lending finance numbers and new car sales figures will be made available to the public.

Overseas, consumer price index data is due in the US, while industrial production data and the producer price index are also on tap. Elsewhere, Group of 20 deputy finance ministers will meet in Mexico City for a two-day economic conference.

Local news

With the RBA still enjoying its extended Christmas break, the week in local news is filled by public and private data releases.

Monday sees the Australian Bureau of Statistics release housing finance data for November. Loans are expected to have risen by 3 per cent in the month, according to analysts.

ANZ Banking Group will release its job advertisement survey for December and the Melbourne Institute-TD Securities inflation gauge for December is on tap.

On Tuesday, lending finance data for November is set for release from the ABS.

Wednesday brings building approvals figures for November from the ABS, alongside December new car sales data. Economists expect car sales to have dropped by 6 per cent for the month.

The Melbourne Institute/Westpac Banking Group consumer sentiment index for January is also awaited.

Highly anticipated labour force data for December is set for release on Thursday. Experts believe the data will show a 13,000 lift in jobs, taking the jobless rate to 5.3 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute will release its consumer inflation and unemployment inflation expectation data for January.

Friday brings international trade price index data from the ABS for December. Economists are expecting a flat result for exports, with imports increasing by 0.6 per cent.

Corporate

The week in corporate news sees the start of the US earnings season overshadowing local action.

On Monday, Altius Mining will hold its annual general meeting. In the US, Delta Air Lines earnings results are on tap.

Tuesday sees Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited hold its AGM, while offshore, Citigroup, Groupon and Wells Fargo & Co will report earnings.

Wednesday brings numbers from eBay, Goldman Sachs and Viterra in the US.

Thursday sees Bank of America Corp, Google Inc, Intel Inc, Microsoft Corp and Morgan Stanley reveal earnings.

Finally, earnings results from General Electric Co are expected to be released in the US on Friday.

Offshore

Overseas, markets in the United States are closed on Monday for a national holiday.

The first two days of the week will see a number of Chinese indicators released, including gross domestic product data and retail sales.

Tuesday sees the release of the New York Empire State manufacturing survey for January.

In the United Kingdom, December consumer price index data is set for release, as well as the retail price index for the month.

On Wednesday, US Federal Treasury international capital data is due, along with the housing market index.

Industrial production data and the producer price index are also on tap, along with weekly Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications figures. Analysts expect production to have lifted by 0.4 per cent in December and core producer prices to have risen by 0.1 per cent for the month.

In the UK, average earnings data will be released, as well as claimant count change figures for December. ILO unemployment rate data for the quarter to January is also on tap.

Thursday brings December housing starts data and jobless claims figures in the US. Elsewhere, consumer price index data for December is due, as well as the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey for January. Core consumer prices are thought to have risen 0.2 per cent, according to analysts.

The weekly Energy Information Administration petroleum status report rounds off a busy day in the US.

Friday sees existing home sales data for December released in the US. Economists are tipping sales to have risen by 3 per cent in the month.

December retail sales data is due in the UK.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Group of 20 deputy finance ministers will meet on Thursday in Mexico City, as part of a two-day meeting.

Elsewhere, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development will hold its 21st global public forum on public debt management.

On Friday, European Union economics and monetary affairs commissioner, Oli Rehn, will meet with Hungarian finance minister Gyrgy Matolscy to discuss Hungary's bailout deal. More closely watched however, will be a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.