Indicator panels for investors: week of May 24, 2021

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Australia: Business investment data at a glance

  • Over the coming week, a number of indicators will be released that are inputs to the economic growth equation. Gross domestic product (GDP) or economic growth data for the March quarter are released on June 2.
  • But the week starts on Monday with the Institute of Petroleum’s usual weekly gasoline price readings and the Used Car Market report from Datium Insights.
  • Tuesday ANZ and Roy Morgan jointly publish the Weekly Consumer Sentiment Survey. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is releasing preliminary data for April on international merchandise trade (merchandise trade) as well as the weekly jobs and wages report as of May 8.
  • The ABS is also releasing a new post on Tuesday: “Non-discretionary and discretionary inflation measurement”. ABS says so “Uses CPI data to present measures of non-discretionary and discretionary inflation.” The distinction is important because spending on non-essential or discretionary goods and services is more sensitive to price changes.
  • Wednesday, ABS releases the “Construction work completed” publication for the March quarter. The home construction completion data in the report corresponds to the measure of investment in housing used to calculate GDP in the national accounts.
  • Also Wednesday, ABS publishes provisional mortality data through February.
  • Thursday, ABS releases data for the March quarter on business investment (“New private capital spending and planned spending”). As the title suggests, the latest data on actual spending is released with expectations on future investments. Business investment data is also used as an input to calculate economic growth for the March quarter.
  • Also Thursday ABS delivers the “Commercial conditions and sentiments” report as well as detailed labor force estimates for April. The latter includes an estimate of unemployment by region and demographic group.
  • Friday, ABS publishes the latest 2019/20 detailed estimates of the structure and functioning of Australian industries.

Overseas: US economic growth data will gain the most attention

  • Interestingly, a number of US data releases in the coming week will shed some light on the inflation picture, such as the latest data on gross domestic profit (GDP) and personal income and expenditure.
  • But the week starts on Monday in the United States with the publication of the National Activity Index of the Federal Reserve of Chicago.
  • Tuesday, Johnson Redbook chain store sales weekly figures are released along with two indicators of home prices, new home sales, consumer confidence and the Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index.
  • The S & P / Case-Shiller home price measure was 11.9 percent higher in February than a year ago. And the measure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased by 12.2% for the same period. Both measures show that home prices in the United States are rising faster than in Australia.
  • Wednesday, the weekly mortgage application figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) are released.
  • Thursday in China, April industrial profit data is expected.
  • Thursday in the United States, the usual weekly data on unemployment benefit claims (initial jobless claims) will generate the highest level of usual interest. The data is released alongside durable goods orders, pending home sales and the Kansas City Federal Reserve manufacturing index.
  • Thursday also, the second estimate of economic growth in the United States (measure of GDP) should show that the economy is growing at an annual rate of 6.4 percent.
  • Friday in the United States, April data on personal income and expenditure will be released. But rather than the results of these two measures, it is likely that interest will focus more on the related price indicator. This has one endless title – the price deflator for basic personal consumption expenditure. This price measure is generally preferred by the Federal Reserve over the consumer price index. Prices may have risen 0.6% in April to 2.8% more than a year ago.
  • Friday too, wholesale inventory data is provided with the International Goods Trade Balance and the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index.
  • And the University of Michigan’s “final” May estimate of consumer sentiment (also released Friday) also contains a measure of inflation expectations that may spark further interest.

Originally posted by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec

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