Despite improvement in some economic indicators, the Australian economy’s progress lags that of most other developed countries. In view of this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its growth forecast for Australia’s economy to 2.2% in October, from the 3% projection given merely six months back. Amid such news, all eyes are on the upcoming economic indicators.
November 2: Australia Balance of Trade (September), UK Interest Rate Decision
Australia’s trade surplus widened more than 22% to A$0.99 billion in August, after having
shrunk unexpectedly by a staggering 48% in July. The August trade surplus came ahead of market expectations of A$0.88 billion, with a rise in exports and practically no change in imports. The nation’s trade surplus is widely expected to narrow marginally to A$0.875 billion in September. Meanwhile, the Bank of England (BoE) kept its official bank rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25% at its September meeting. Although the committee continued with the same level of monetary stimulus, it mentioned that some withdrawal seemed likely over the next few months.
November 7: RBA Interest Rate Decision
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left its benchmark cash rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5% at its October meeting. There had been speculations of an increase in the rate, following interest rate hikes by other nations. Policymakers pointed out, however, that the monetary conditions in other developed nations had eased much more than in Australia since the financial crisis. Expectations are now for the RBA to keep its benchmark rate unchanged at its November meeting.
November 8: Australia Business Confidence (October), China Balance of Trade (October)
Australia’s business confidence rose meaningfully to 7 in September, after having plummeted to 5 in August, and came in better than the estimate. Expectations are for the index to remain at 7 in October. Meanwhile, China’s trade surplus narrowed again in September to US$28.61 billion, from US$41.99 billion in August, and missed expectations of a US$ 39.50 billion surplus. The September figure represented the smallest trade surplus since March.
November 9: New Zealand Interest Rate Decision, China Inflation Rate (October), UK Balance of Trade (September)
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept its benchmark cash rate unchanged at record low of 1.75% at its September meeting. The central bank is widely expected to keep the interest rate unchanged at its November meeting. In another part of the world, China reported its inflation rate at 1.6% in September, following 1.8% in August. Expectations are for the rate to rise back to 1.8% in October. The UK’s trade deficit widened to £5.63 billion in August, from £4.24 billion in July, and marked the largest trade deficit since September 2016.
November 14: UK Inflation Rate (October)
The UK inflation rate stood at 3% in September, up only slightly from 2.9% in August, but representing the highest rate since April 2012. Expectations are for the inflation rate to be above 3% in October.
November 15: Australia Consumer Sentiment (November)
Australia’s consumer sentiment rose 3.6% to 101.35 in October, breaching the 100 mark for the first time since November 2016. A reading below 100 (which it has been through in2017) indicates pessimists outnumbering optimists, while a reading above 100 means pessimists were outnumbered by optimists. The forecast for November calls for a decline in the index to around 97.
November 17: Australia Unemployment Rate (October)
Australia added 19,800 jobs in September, after having added 53,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 5.5% in September, from 5.6% in the previous month. The market consensus for job adds stands at 15,000 in October, with the unemployment rate expected to remain unchanged at 5.5%.
November 25: New Zealand Balance of Trade (October)
New Zealand’s trade deficit stood at NZ$1,235 million in August, following a trade surplus of NZ$85 million in July. The negative gap was significantly higher than the market estimate of a NZ$825 million deficit.
November 25: US GDP Growth Rate (Q3)
The US economy grew 3.1% in the second quarter, beating market expectations of 3% growth and representing the strongest growth rate since the first three months of 2015. The country’s GDP growth rate is widely expected to decelerate to around 2% in the third quarter.