Weekly Market WATCh
February 26, 2021
In Australia, the wage price index rose more than expected in Q4 2020, temporarily helped by the restoration of pre-COVID wages in some sectors. Construction work done unexpectedly fell in Q4, while capex picked up on a rebound in non-mining investment. The merchandise trade balance narrowed marginally in January, with iron ore exports seeing a marked decline.PDF Download PDF
Abroad, US housing data continued to surprise to the upside, while growth in US durable goods orders also exceeded expectations. US initial jobless claims resumed fell last week, yet remain elevated.
February 19, 2021
In Australia, payrolls and labour force survey reports confirmed ongoing employment growth in January. The weekly consumer confidence index slipped amid the announcement of a snap Victoria lockdown last week. The flash PMIs for February signalled slower growth, while the preliminary retail sales report saw a 0.6% rise in sales in January.PDF Download PDF
Offshore, the US PPI report indicated growing cost pressures in January, while surveys pointed a rise in inflation expectations in the US and Europe this month.
Retail sales surged in the US on higher unemployment benefits, yet manufacturing growth slowed somewhat. Investor sentiment improved in the US and Europe in February. US initial jobless claims unexpectedly picked up last week.
February 12, 2021
In Australia, business confidence bounced back in January. Business conditions deteriorated somewhat, yet remained above the long-run average. Consumer sentiment has recovered some of its January losses. Offshore, the Chinese producer price index has emerged from deflation, though consumer price growth has turned negative. US inflation remained low in January, while last week’s payroll figures for January disappointed. The slow vaccine roll-out and still high COVID-19 infection figures have translated into weaker investor sentiment in Europe and a euro area GDP forecast downgrade by the European Commission.PDF Download PDF
February 5, 2021
In Australia, the RBA extended its bond buying program beyond April. Incoming data suggested the economic recovery continues, with the value of new home loans and the number of private house approvals both reaching all-time highs in December and the PMI indices pointing to an acceleration in economic growth in January. Retail sales slipped in December after rising strongly the month before.PDF Download PDF
Offshore, US economic data releases, particularly the ISM Services PMI, ADP Employment and initial jobless claims reports, surprised mostly to the upside this week. However, the Chinese PMIs disappointed, dragged down by COVID-19 at home and abroad.
January 29, 2021
The FOMC left its monetary policy settings unchanged, as expected. US initial jobless claims fell more than anticipated last week but remain high. US GDP grew in line with expectations in Q4. In Australia, the CPI rose slightly more than expected in Q4, yet is still well below the RBA target band. Other price indices point to ongoing subdued cost pressures. The NAB business conditions index rose to the highest level in over two years, yet business confidence fell due to COVID-19 outbreaks over east.PDF Download PDF
January 22, 2021
Offshore, Joe Biden began his presidency in the US, with his Treasury Secretary nominee calling for more fiscal stimulus. The ECB and the Bank of Japan both left their monetary policy settings unchanged. In Australia, the labour force and internet job vacancies reports pointed to an ongoing labour market recovery in December, though the weekly payrolls suggested a seasonal fall in job creation in late 2020. Consumer confidence retreated in January but remains high. This followed a December fall in retail sales, which are still up 9.4% through the year.PDF Download PDF