THE WEEK AHEAD

Housing finance and labour force data are on tap, while Rio Tinto releases fourth-quarter production results.

The week ahead brings a large number of economic indicators as the business world shrugs off the post-Christmas lull and moves headfirst into the New Year.

Locally, several key releases are due from the ABS, including housing finance and labour force data, while consumer sentiment figures are also awaited.

Overseas, the United States government will release the latest Beige Book, its quarterly report on the state of the country's economy.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank is set hand out its monthly assessment, while European Union consumer inflation figures are due.

A host of important figures are due out of China at the end of the week, including highly anticipated fourth-quarter gross domestic product data.

The week in company news sees Rio Tinto reveal fourth-quarter production results locally. The real action though is overseas, where big names including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Bank of America will all release quarterly earnings figures.

Local news

The week ahead brings a solid amount of local data, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics set for its busiest week of the New Year.

The releases offset a lack of news from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which is continuing its summer break.

Monday brings housing finance data for November from the ABS. Experts expect the data to show the total value of loans granted in the month rose by 0.3 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute/TD Securities inflation gauge for December will be made available, along with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group job advertisements data for the month.

Wednesday brings lending finance data for November, as well as new car sales figures for December.

In private releases, Westpac is due to put out its consumer sentiment index for January.

Thursday sees labour force data for December made available to the public, which includes the unemployment rate for the period. Analysts are tipping the figures will show around 13,000 jobs were created in the month, leaving the unemployment at around 5.2 to 5.3 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Institute and Westpac consumer unemployment expectation index for December is on tap.

Corporate

A big week in company news sees a small amount of action local, but some important overseas news as the United States fourth quarter earnings season heats up.

On Monday, Oz Growth and WestOz Investment trade ex-dividend.

Tuesday brings fourth-quarter production results from Rio Tinto Ltd.

Elsewhere, Australian Infrastructure Fund will hold its annual general meeting.

Wednesday is a big day in the US. Fourth quarter earnings results are due from financial giants JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs. Similar data is due from online auction giant eBay.

Thursday brings quarterly results from Bank of America, American Express, Citigroup and Intel.

On Friday, Finders Resources will hold an extraordinary general meeting locally.

Again, the more interesting news is from overseas, with General Electric to reveal quarterly earnings figures.

Offshore

Overseas, a mixture of key indicators from both sides of the Atlantic will captivate investors.

On Monday, industrial production data for November is due in the European Union.

In the US on Tuesday, the December producer price index and retail sales data will be released.

Experts believe that core producer price may have grown 2.2 per cent over the year. Retail sales are expected to have risen by 0.5 per cent in the month.

November business inventories data and the New York Empire state manufacturing index for January are also due.

A busy day in the United Kingdom sees retail, producer and consumer price index data for December all released. Consumer inflation is excepted to have grown by 1.9 per cent.

House price data for the month is also due.

EU trade balance figures for November rounds out a busy day.

On Wednesday, the US government will release its latest Beige Book.

The December consumer price index will also be released, along with industrial production and capacity utilisation data for the period. Production is believed to have risen 0.3 per cent in December.

Also available are November US Treasury international capital data and the housing market index for January.

Wrapping up a busy day in the US, the weekly Energy Information Association’s petroleum status report and Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications are due.

In Europe, EU consumer inflation figures for December will be made available.

Thursday sees jobless claims data and housing starts for December released in the US, alongside building permit numbers for the month.

Economists are tipping housing starts jumped 2.2 per cent in the last month of 2012.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey for January is on tap.

In Europe, EU construction data for November is awaited.

On Friday, the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index for January is due in the US, as well as the American Petroleum Institute’s latest monthly report.

In the UK, retail sales data for December is awaited.

The big news is in China, where fourth-quarter gross domestic product data is set for release. Experts are expecting the data to show annual growth in the country has lifted to 7.8 per
cent.

Industrial production, retail sales and urban investment figures for December will also be handed down.

Wrapping up

Rounding off the week, miscellaneous events are dominated by members of the Federal Reserve speaking in the United States.

Monday brings a speech from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at the University of Michigan.

Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans will address the Asian Financial Forum.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Charles Plosser and San Francisco president John Williams will both speak at an the SEMI ISS 2013 Industry Strategy Symposium.

Tuesday sees the World Bank releases its latest global economic prospects report.

Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren is due to address the Greater Providence Chamber.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve president Narayana Kocherlakota will speak before the Financial Planners Association of Minnesota.

Elsewhere, Plosser will talk about the economic outlook before the 34th Annual Economic Seminar.

On Wednesday, Dallas Federal Reserve president Richard Fisher is due to speak before the Committee for the Republic in the US.

Thursday sees the European Central Bank release its latest monthly report.

In the US, Kocherlakota speaks before the National Association of Corporate Directors, while Atlanta Federal Reserve president Dennis Lockhart addresses a Bloomberg global
markets summit.