Wealth of data to shed light on Australian economy


Inflation figures and a speech by incoming Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock will be closely watched for signs of Australia's economic slowdown.

Ms Bullock, the central bank's deputy governor, will deliver a lecture at the Australian National University in Canberra on Tuesday as she prepares to take over the top job from Philip Lowe.

The RBA board is due to next meet on September 5, when it is widely expected to keep the cash rate on hold at 4.1 per cent.

Dr Lowe will deliver what the RBA is describing as his "final remarks" in Sydney on September 7.

Feeding into the board's thinking will be a wealth of data to be released over the week.

Retail trade figures will be released on Monday, giving an indication of how deep a series of interest rate hikes have cut into family budgets.

Building approvals, consumer prices and construction work data will be issued on Wednesday.

June quarter business investment figures to be released on Thursday will shed light on future spending intentions.

CoreLogic's home value index for August is set to be issued on Friday, along with the Australian Bureau of Statistics' lending indicators data for July.

Local investors will react to much-anticipated comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, who indicated the US central bank may need to raise interest rates further to ensure inflation is contained but acknowledged price pressures had eased.

His speech at the Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming led Wall Street to finish higher, setting up the Australian share market to follow suit when it reopens.

The US S&P 500 gained 29.4 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 4,405.71. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 247.48 points, or 0.73 per cent, to 34,346.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 126.67 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 13,590.65.

Australian share futures rose 20 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7084.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday down 66.9 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 7,115.2.