THE WEEK AHEAD

The Reserve Bank's interest rate decision heads the week ahead while Australian GDP and US jobs data are also due out.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision dominates the week ahead while Australian investors will also get the latest reads on GDP, retail sales and manufacturing PMI.

Offshore, China will also release its PMI while the latest reads on US unemployment and trade balance will be a focus of the week.

RBA

The Reserve Bank board will meet on Tuesday, with a decision on interest rates, as well a revised statement on monetary policy from governor Glenn Stevens, expected at 2:30pm.

In last month’s minutes, the central bank board flagged further scope for rate cuts after noting the full effects of previous easing had not yet been realised. But economists  are execting the bank to leave the cash hate on hold at 3 per cent.

Also on Tuesday the RBA will release its updated index of commodities prices.

Local data

There is a slew of local data due out this week with building approvals expected from the Australian Bureau of Statistics while the latest PSI and PMI reads are due out from the Australian Industry Group.

On Tuesday, the RP Data/Rismarck Home Value Index for March will be released. The Australian Industry Group will also release its performance of manufacturing index (PMI) for March.

Wednesday will bring February’s GDP figures, along with imports and exports data. Economists are forecasting a trade deficit of around $1.4 billion.

Elsewhere, the Housing Industry Association will unveil March’s new home sales data.

On Thursday, retail sales figures from February are due, alongside building approvals for the month. Economists expect sales to have risen by around 0.2 per cent in February, while building approvals are tipped to lift by 3 per cent, buoyed by apartment building.

Meanwhile, the Australian Industry Group will release its performance of services index (PSI) for March.

Corporate

Another quiet week on the companies front, with only Macquarie Atlas Roads Group’s AGM and a handful of EGM’s drawing much attention.

On Tuesday, Southern Cross Media will trade ex-dividend, while Volta Mining will convene an extraordinary general meeting in Sydney.

Wednesday will see CSG and Panax Geothermal convene extraordinary general meetings.

Elsewhere, Tiger Resources, Galaxy and Antares Energy are set to unveil half-yearly earnings.

On Thursday Macquarie Atlas Roads Group will hold its annual general meeting, as will Zinc Co.

Offshore

On Monday, the latest manufacturing PMI read out of China is expected.

Meanwhile, in the US, the ISM manufacturing index for March will be released, alongside the latest reads on construction spending and the PMI manufacturing index.

On Tuesday, new car sales figures are due out of the US, along with factory orders for February. Economists expect the data to show a 1.8 per cent rise.

Wednesday brings two important reads out of China; the HSBC services PMI and the HSBC composite PMI.

Elsewhere, the EU will unveil its unemployment statistics for March

Friday will see the US release its all-important employment figures for March in the form of non-farm payrolls. The unemployment rate is expected to ease to 7.6 per cent, while almost 200,000 jobs are anticipated to have been created in the month.

Still in America, the latest read on international trade, imports and exports is also due out. Economists expect the deficit to be relatively constant around $US45 billion.

Out of the eurozone, the February trade balance is expected alongside Markit Services' PMI and composite PMI.

Lastly, both the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan will make their monthly decision on interest rates and deliver a statement on monetary policy.

Wrapping Up

On Wednesday, shadow finance minister Andrew Robb will deliver the keynote address at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in Melbourne. Mr Robb will discuss the Australian economy and the nation’s fiscal outlook.

Aged Care Minister Mark Butler will be part of a South Australian panel reviewing aged care services.

Elsewhere, David Simon, chairman of the Australian Trucking Association, will address the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra. Mr Simon will discuss current and future improvements to industry safety as well as the industry’s agenda for the 2013 federal election, including government plans to extend the carbon tax to truck fuel.

Thursday will see Sam Haddad, director general of the NSW department of planning and infrastructure, Peter Verwer, chief executive of Property Council and Brian McGovern, deputy head of property at Commonwealth Bank of Australia speak at a CEDA event discussing the outlook for property in 2013.

On Friday, chief executive officer and chairman of Insurance Australia Group Michael Wilkins will outline the big ticket reforms in the upcoming election that will help support business confidence at a briefing in Melbourne.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Michael Andrew, global chairman of KPMG International, will discuss trends in the global economy at a leadership breakfast.