Today’s Announcements & News
AU December Labour Force at 11.30am AEDT
US December building permits and housing starts, Philadelphia Fed index January
It is expect Australia’s labour market to end the year on a firm note, forecasting an above consensus +35k (cons. 20k) print on headline employment growth, and participation rate forecast to remain at 66.8 per cent leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.4 per cent, at historic lows. A strong headline print led by solid full time employment should further increase the odds of a 25bps hike at next month’s RBA meeting.
In latest jobs data review, Roy Morgan on Wednesday said employment decreased slightly in December driven by a decrease in full-time employment.
Retail sales plummeted 1.1 per cent last month, the biggest drop since December 2021. Data for November was revised to show sales decreasing 1.0 per cent instead of 0.6 per cent as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales decreasing 0.8 per cent. Retail sales rose 6.0 per cent year-on-year in December.
News on inflation continued to be encouraging, with a third report from the Labor Department showing the producer price index for final demand decreased 0.5 per cent in December after rising 0.2 per cent in November. In the 12 months through December, the PPI increased 6.2 per cent after climbing 7.3 per cent in November.
In a monthly steel market comment, Platts, a unit of S&P Global Commodity Insights, had a cautious outlook for iron ore: “Expectations have risen on China iron ore demand increasing after easing of COVID-19 measures, while iron ore demand could pick up when mill restocking needs resurface after the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays in China.
As of January 13, iron ore stocks at Chinese ports were 133.59 million tonnes, down 15 per cent on the year, but up 1.74 per cent on the week, Platts reported. In the week to January 13, ore stocks for trade were at 79.52 million tonnes, down 15 per cent on the year, but up 0.66 per cent on the week, with stocks enough for 41 days.