THE WEEK AHEAD

Housing finance data and new car sales are released, while Westpac, National Australia Bank and Bank of Queensland all hold AGMs.

The first week of December brings a mixture of important economic indicators from both Australia and around the world.

In local news, housing finance data is due, alongside new car sales figures and lending finance numbers.

Overseas, the United States Federal Reserve will hold its last policy meeting for 2012, where it will make a decision on interest rates. Consumer inflation data and business inventories data is also due.

Elsewhere, a glut of indicators are due out of China, including consumer and producer inflation data as well as retail sales figures.

A massive week in company news sees annual general meetings held by three of the biggest banks in the country. Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank and Bank of Queensland will all meet shareholders.

RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia again comes into focus this week in the wake of the central bank’s decision to cut interest rates to their lowest point since the peak of the global financial crisis.

On Wednesday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens will deliver a speech to the Bank of Thailand at Bangkhunprom Palace in Bangkok.

Investors will watch closely for any indication on the future direction of monetary policy.

The RBA does not meet in January, and will hold its next policy meeting in the first week of February.

Local news

The week in local news brings the last few releases from the Australian Bureau of Statistics before the New Year.

On Monday, housing finance data for the month of October is due to be released. Experts are tipping the demand for home loans to have risen 3.8 per cent in the month.

Tuesday sees the release of both National Australia Bank’s business conditions and business confidence indexes for November.

Wednesday brings October lending finance data from the ABS.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute and Westpac will release their consumer sentiment index for December.

On Thursday, the ABS will release new car sales data for the month of November.

The Melbourne Institute's consumer inflation expectation and unemployment expectation indexes are also on tap.

Corporate

The week in company news brings a solid amount of corporate activity.

On Monday, Atech Holdings will hold its annual general meeting.

Tuesday brings an extraordinary general meeting from Ausenco, while Ironbark Capital goes ex-dividend.

On Wednesday, James Hardie will trade ex-dividend.

Thursday sees Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank and Bank of Queensland all hold annual general meetings, in what should be a massive day for the banking sector.

Elsewhere, Australian Infrastructure Fund will also meet shareholders.

Friday brings an AGM from Padbury Mining.

Offshore

Overseas, key data is due in the week ahead out of Europe, the United States and China.

On Sunday, a host of data is expected for release in China, including consumer and producer inflation data and retail sales figures for November.

Industrial production data is also due. Elsewhere in Asia, Japanese gross domestic product figures will be released.

Monday sees European Union investor confidence data for December released by Sentix.

On Tuesday, international trade data for October is due in the US. Economists are tipping the data will show the US racked up a $US42 billion ($A40.17 billion) deficit in the month.

October wholesale inventories data is also due, along with the NFIB business optimism index for November.

Elsewhere, IBD/TIPP economic optimism figures for December are on tap.

In the United Kingdom, RICS housing price data for November is awaited, along with the CB leading economic index for the month.

December economic sentiment for the European Union will be released by ZEW.

Wednesday brings the latest policy meeting from the United States Federal Reserve, where it will make a decision on interest rates.

Elsewhere, November import and export price data is due, along with Treasury budget data for the month.

The weekly Energy Information Association’s petroleum status report is also awaited, as is the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest mortgage application report.

In the UK, average earnings data for the three months to October is due, along with industrial production data for November.

November claimant count figures are also expected to be released.

Elsewhere, EU industrial production data for October is on tap.

Thursday sees US business inventories data for October made available, alongside the latest jobless claims figures.

The November producer price index is also on tap, along with retail sales figures for the month.

Sales for the month are expected to have risen by 0.3 per cent.

Friday brings consumer inflation data for November in the US. Analysts are expecting consumer prices, excluding food and energy, to have grown by 0.2 per cent in the period.

November industrial production figures round off a massive week in the US. Experts are predicting the figures will show a 0.3 per cent rise in output.

In China, HSBC will release its preliminary manufacturing PMI for December.

Foreign direct investment data for November is also due.

In the EU, third quarter employment change figures will wrap up a busy week.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, Tuesday sees the World Trade Organisation’s two-day general council meeting kick off in Washington.

On Wednesday, Bank of England monetary policy committee member Spencer Dale will speak at a seminar in London.

Thursday beings a speech from New South Wales Treasurer Mike Baird at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia function in Sydney.

In Europe, EU leaders will kick off a week-long summit in Brussels.

The International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank will hold a joint news conference on reforming European Union fiscal governance.

Elsewhere, the ECB will release its December monthly report, while governing council member Luc Coene will speak in London.

In the United States, the Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the Volcker rule.

Friday sees the United States ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich, speak at a CEDA event in Sydney.

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