This week’s national accounts are expected to show the Australian economy has emerged from recession, but it still has some way to run before it gets back to its pre-pandemic levels.
The September quarter national accounts are released on Wednesday.
Economists’ forecasts centre on a 2.4 per cent increase in growth for the quarter, coming after the steep seven per cent contraction in the June quarter that marked the country’s first recession in nearly 30 years.
However, this would still leave annual growth down more than four per cent.
Forecasts range from an increase of 0.5 per cent to 4.1 per cent but they will likely adjust their predictions as quarterly figures for company profits and inventories are released on Monday and international trade and government spending is issued on Tuesday.
The rebound is largely based a strong surge in consumer spending in the quarter as COVID-19 restrictions were eased, and despite disappointing construction and business investment figures for the quarter last week.
“Looking beyond the September quarter, near-term the end of Victoria’s second lockdown and success in containing the virus locally will support a further rebound in activity,” Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said.
Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe will be on hand to give an immediate response to the national accounts as he will be addressing the House of Representatives economics committee when the report is released.
Dr Lowe and his central bank board will also meet the day before on Tuesday for their monthly gathering, but no further monetary policy action is anticipated after its suite of measures this month.
This included the cash rate cut being cut to a record low 0.1 per cent and the start of quantitative easing for the first time.
Other data this week includes monthly reports on credit, house prices, trade and retail spending.
Meanwhile, Australian shares look set for a firm start to the week, buoyed by an advancing Wall Street on return from its Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent, to 29,910.37, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent at 3,638.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.9 per cent at 12,205.85.
Local shares had finished about 0.5 per cent lower on Friday but the ASX200 still managed to squeeze out its fourth consecutive weekly gain in a month, gaining 0.95 per cent.
However, Australian share futures rose 39 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 6642.