THE WEEK AHEAD

The flow of data picks up next week, with retail sales and consumer confidence figures to drive the local market.

A host of economic indicators are set for release in the week ahead, with a mixture of local and international data filling the calendar.

Locally, job vacancy figures, retail sales and building approvals statistics will kick off official data for the new year.

Offshore, the US Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book, its monthly report into the current state of the US economy, while US Treasury budget data and international trade figures are also on tap.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England will make its interest rate decision for December, while the European Central Bank will make its latest resolution on rates this week and the World Economic Forum will release its flagship Global Risks 2012 report.

Local news

The week in local news is kick-started by retail trade data for November on Monday, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Economists are tipping the data to show a 0.5 per cent rise in sales for the month.

On Tuesday, building approvals data for November will be released by the ABS. Analysts are tipping approvals to bounce back strongly from their shock fall last month, lifting by around 10 per cent in November.

Elsewhere, National Australia Bank will release its business conditions and business confidence index for December, while Westpac will publish January consumer confidence data.

November job vacancies data is set for report on Wednesday by the ABS.

Corporate

There’s little action on the home front and overseas when it comes to publicly listed companies.

On Monday, Advanced Energy Systems will hold an annual general meeting. In the US, Alcoa Inc will release earnings results.

Thursday sees Metal Storm hold an extraordinary general meeting, while US bank JPMorgan Chase & Co reveals earnings numbers to the market on Friday. Also on Friday, ANZ Banking Group makes its monthly interest rate call. The announcement, likely around lunchtime, is the bank's first since it made the decision to break with the regular RBA cash rate cycle and it will be closely watched by the market and the other banks alike.

Overseas

In the US on Monday, November consumer credit change figures will be released.

A little closer to home, Chinese trade data will also be published. Experts are tipping the figures to show a surplus of close to $US11.3 billion ($A10.95 billion).

Tuesday sees IBD/TIPP economic optimism data for January and wholesale inventories figures for November released in the US.

In the UK, the BRC will release its retail sales monitor, while RICS housing price balance data for December is due.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book, its monthly report into the current state of the US economy. The weekly Energy Information Association petroleum status report is also due.

November goods trade balance data is awaited in the UK, along with Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications data for the week ending December 31.

Thursday brings November business inventories figures in the US, along with Treasury budget data.

December retail sales and jobless claims numbers are also on tap. Analysts are tipping retail sales to have gained between of 0.2 and 0.3 per cent in December.

In the UK, industrial production figures for November will be released, along with manufacturing production data for the month.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England will make its interest rate decision for January, while the European Central Bank also make its call on the region’s official cash rate.

Friday sees international trade data for November released in the US, as well as consumer sentiment figures.

Economists believe the deficit may have widened from $US43.5 billion to $US45 billion in the month.

Import and export price data is also awaited.

Producer price index data for December will be released in the UK.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Monday sees Atlanta Federal Reserve president Dennis Lockhart speak in the US, while Kansas Federal Reserve president Esther George will discuss the 2012 economic outlook.

On Tuesday, European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Oli Rehn, will address the European Parliament.

Wednesday brings a speech from European Council president Herman Van Rompuy on the European debt crisis, while Dennis Lockhart will again discuss the economic outlook in the US and Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Charles Plosser will also speak.

Elsewhere, the World Economic Forum will release its flagship Global Risks 2012 report.

On Thursday, Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans will address an audience in the US.