Key economic data set to dominate the week

Company News

by Glenn Dyer


US October consumer prices and producer prices, Australian labour force and wages data, plus a few key earnings reports, as well as Chinese industrial production and retail sales will be the focus of attention this week.

If forecasts are right, US consumer prices should have risen by just 0.1% between September and October, not only because inflation is easing, but also for technical reasons (the sharp rise in the rent component of the Index in September).

That could see headline inflation fall to 3.3% from 3.7% and core inflation dip to 4% from 4.1%. The big imponderable will be the size of the impact of October’s sharp slide in oil prices on petrol pump prices.

Producer prices the day after are forecast to rise 0.1% in October after the 0.5% jump in September.

US 10 year bond yields ended stronger on Friday at 4.64% on the basis that inflation will fall in this week’s reports, taking pressure of the Fed (and ruling out any chance of a rate rise this year).

Thursday also sees the retail sales figures for October - a flat result is forecast (with some analysts tipping a small fall) after the surprise 0.7% rise in September. The fall will be driven by the slide in petrol prices (which should hint at a slide in inflation as well).

Retailing also dominates this reporting season - Walmart and Target, the two major bricks and mortar chains release their latest figures, as will discount chain, Ross Stores, the homewares group, Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, Macy’s, America’s biggest department store chain, as well as L Brands, Shoe Carnival and Gap.

Other companies reporting include Cisco. Oracle, Applied Materials, Vodafone, Tencent, Siemens and Infineon.

US annual meetings for Fox Corp and News Corp, the two US-based media groups controlled by the Murdoch clan, will come and go this week with Rupert Murdoch making his final appearance as chair and director of both.

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In Australia, Later this morning more from the Reserve Bank and its rate rise decision last week with a speech at a finance conference in Sydney by Marion Kohler, the central bank’s Acting Assistant Governor (Economic).

The main data this week will be the October labour force data on Thursday and the September quarter’s Wage Price Index the day before.

Economists tip a big quarterly rise of 1.2% in the WPI for an annual rate of 3.8%, up from 3.6% after the 0.8% rise in the June quarter.

Economists see 25,000 new jobs created in October (after the 6,700 in September) and no change in the jobless rate of 3.6%.

The National Australia Bank’s business survey for October is out tomorrow along with the latest consumer confidence report from Westpac.

There are a few results this week and annual meetings - Elders, ALS, Aristocrat Leisure, Nufarm, Incitec Pivot, GrainCorp and Australian Agriculture Co.

National Australia Bank completes the major bank full year report this morning with its 2022-23 annual figures.

On Wednesday, the Commonwealth Bank releases its September quarter trading update. Some analysts think it could be weak.

Annual meetings here this week include Computershare, IGO, Northern Star, Mineral Resources, Mirvac, Flight Centre, Lendlease and Sonic Healthcare.

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In China the last economic data for October will be out today (new lending figures) and on Wednesday - investment (especially property), production (especially steel) and retail sales, and the house prices on Thursday. All are forecast to be weak.

Japan releases its latest GDP data for the September quarter. A small rise of 0.2% quarter on quarter is forecast.

In Europe there’s updated inflation figures for October - the headline rate fell to an annual 2.9% in the early estimate which is expected to be formed at that level. That will be down from 4.3% in September. 

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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