THE WEEK AHEAD

A shortened business week will bring an address from the Reserve Bank governor, earnings results from gold miners and US GDP and consumer confidence figures.

A relatively quiet and shorter week on the local front, with the nation set to observe a four-day Easter long weekend from Friday.

It's a relatively light week for the Australian Bureau of Statistics but the Reserve Bank of Australia will release its half-yearly update on the financial system and governor Glenn Stevens will also make a public address.

Offshore, China is notably light on economic news which will see the focus shift to the United States where the latest reads on GDP, new home sales and consumer confidence are due.

RBA

The key event for the central bank will come on Tuesday when Governor Glenn Stevens addresses the Australian Securities and Investments Commission annual forum in Sydney.

On Wednesday the central bank will release its half-yearly Financial Stability Review

Thursday will bring the latest read on private sector credit as part of the Reserve Bank’s financial aggregates for February. Economists are cautiously tipping a 0.3 per cent rise in private sector credit in February.

Local data

A light week for local data with only a spattering of releases from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and a single private survey.

On Thursday, the latest ABS read on job vacancies is expected, along with the TD Securities inflation gauge for March.

Elsewhere, the bureau will unveil a range of fresh demographic data, including population figures for the September quarter.

Corporate

It’s another light week on the corporate front with only a handful of companies scheduled to release results.

Monday will see Sovereign Gold unveil its full-year results, the first of several gold miners to release results this week.

On Wednesday, Funtastic drops its S1 earnings report.

Thursday will see Nufarm deliver its interim results, with Bloomberg tipping they will show a small 0.43 per cent decrease in net adjusted income to $112.754 million.

On Friday, Panterra Gold will release its full-year results for 2012.

Offshore

The United States takes centre stage this week, with the latest GDP, consumer confidence and new home sales data set to be released.

It’s the EU that will kick off the week, however, with Monday set to deliver February’s read on consumer confidence.

Tuesday will bring a trio of official economic releases out of the US; the February reads for both durable goods orders and new home sales are due, along with the March read on consumer confidence.

Elsewhere, the Standard and Poor’s/Case Shiller measure of home prices will be unveiled. Economists expect the release will show a 0.9 per cent increase for January.

Meanwhile, Japan will unveil retail trade numbers for February and the United Kingdom will release its GDP read for February.

On Wednesday, reads on unemployment are due out of Japan and the EU, while Japan will also unveil its March read on the national consumer price index.

On Thursday, the final GDP figures for the December quarter are set to be released in the US. Economists expect a 0.4 per cent lift in the period.

Finally, on Good Friday personal income and spending numbers are due out of the US. The forecast is for a 0.6 per cent lift in income and a 0.4 per cent rise in spending.

Wrapping up

On Monday, chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard will discuss lessons from the crisis with Bank of England governor Mervyn King at the London School of Economics. All eyes will be on Mr Bernanke in the wake of his comments on the Fed's commitment to its monetary policy last week.

Tuesday will see opposition spokesman for energy and resources Ian Macfarlane and Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle address the energy and resources series on the topics of regulation and reform in Brisbane.

Elsewhere, independent MP and chair of the Standing Committee on Regional Australia, Tony Windsor, will discuss the findings and recommendations of the parliamentary FIFO enquiry, ordered last year to assess the impacts of 'fly-in, fly-out' and 'drive-in, drive-out' workforce practices. Rio Tinto mining engineer Lucy Stocker and Dr Fiona McKenzie, principal research leader of the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation, will be panelists at the WA event.

On Wednesday, opposition spokesman for climate change, environment and heritage Greg Hunt will hold a briefing in Melbourne.

Meanwhile in Kalgoorlie, WA, Atlas Iron executive chairman David Flanagan will speak at a leader’s edge lunch supported by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.