What to expect from the week ahead...

Interesting week of data ahead.

On Tuesday we get the Housing Finance data for April from the ABS.

Obviously there is something of a time lag in this data set, but I'm expecting to see a continuation of the moderate growth in the value of dwelling commitments (currently y/y +4.;5%). 

What would be really nice to see, though, would be an upturn in finance for construction of dwellings (currently y/y +4.6%).

Then on Wednesday we get the Lending Finance data for April. In particular, keep an eye out for housing finance for owner occupation - growth has been weak to date (+1.1% y/y), so some signs of life would be welcomed.

And then on Thursday, of course, we get the Labour Force data.

Most sensible people have given up trying to forecast the employment figures, given that the small sample sizes, poor response rate and sample rotation lead to such erratic results.

The employment figures have been showing an emphatic 'sawtooth' formation - up strongly one month and then down again the next.

Last month the economy reportedly 'added' 50,100 jobs in April. The market expects therefore May to show  a 'drop' of around 10,000 jobs, but if past history is anything to go by, the drop could in fact be well over half of the jobs added in April. Go figure.

As for the headline rate of unemployment, it 'fell' last month to 5.5%, but the longer term trend is a gentle rise, so it would be no surprise to see that increase again either.

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