Friday, June 14, 2024

As it happened: ASX up 0.8pc, just shy of a record close

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After an arid time last week, the data tap opens up a bit this week – maybe not a torrent, but there’s a steady flow with updates on the struggling retail sector, insights on inflation, construction and the first of the “partials” for the upcoming first quarter National Accounts/GDP numbers.

Oh, and the ABS will have a few insights on death as well.

Probably the most keenly watched – certainly by anyone with an interest in interest rates – will be the monthly CPI indicator (Wednesday).

CBA forecasts the CPI Indicator will have remained steady at 3.5% over the year in April, thanks (if that is the right word) to a 2% increase in fuel prices last month and the annual increase in private health insurance premiums.

 Not the best outcome for those looking for rate cuts, but not the worst either.

Monthly CPI indicator(ABS, CBA, Macrobond)

Retail sales (Tuesday) is a topical series, particularly after the March dive of 0.4%.

Following the Taylor Swift reverse tsunami (a flood of sales followed by an alarming reversal in the tide), the waters are forecast to have stilled somewhat in April, up just 0.1%.

That would be an improvement, but not by much.

Forecasting building approvals (Thursday) is always tricky, largely due the big swings caused by multi-unit approvals.

 Forecasters being forecasters are a game bunch and have again had a stab at it with a 4% rise in April being the consensus pick, leaving approvals still at relatively weak levels and the forecasters employed for another week.

First quarter data on construction work done (Wednesday) and private capex (Thursday) will be the first two pieces of next week’s March quarter GDP puzzle to be released.

Both sets of data are expected to marginally add to economic growth, rather than be a drag.

From my point of view, the most interesting data set the ABS publishes this week will be the Provisional Mortality Statistics (Friday).

The trend here is currently very much our friend, but sadly, these numbers are commonly buried.

At the last reading for January, the standardised death rate (SDR) was 40.2 deaths per 100,000 people, below the rates for 2023 (41.8) and 2022 (47.0), surely something worth celebrating.

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