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SYDNEY, Feb 1 AAP

February 01 2013, 6:16PM

A preview of next week's Australian economic data, February 4 to February 8:

AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS BUILDING APPROVALS

Due: Monday

Period: December

Market forecast: Rise of 1.5 per cent for the month, and 14.9 per cent year on year.

Last result: Australian residential building approvals rose 2.9 per cent to 13,307 units in November.

This compares to an upwardly revised 12,932 units in October, seasonally adjusted.

In the year to November, building approvals were up 13.2 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

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ANZ JOB ADVERTISEMENTS SERIES

Due: Monday

Period: January

Market forecast: No market forecast.

Last Result: The ANZ job advertisements series said the total number of job ads placed in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet tumbled 3.8 per cent in December.

Job ads have backpedalled for the past 10 months and were now at about half the level reached before the global financial crisis, ANZ said.

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TD SECURITIES-MELBOURNE INSTITUTE INFLATION GAUGE

Due: Monday

Period: January

Market forecast: No market forecast for this series.

Last Result: The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge rose 0.4 per cent in December after prices fell 0.1 per cent in November, the survey published on Monday showed.

In the year to December, the gauge rose 2.4 per cent, in line with the previous month's reading and within the RBA's target band for inflation of between two and three per cent on average over time.

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DUN & BRADSTREET BUSINESS EXPECTATIONS SURVEY

Due: Monday

Period:January

Market forecast: No market forecast for this series.

Last Result: A survey of 1,200 business owners and senior managers in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors, showed a larger than usual number expected to offer discounts to overcome the post-Christmas sales slump.

Dun and Bradstreet's selling price expectation index fell to a record low - indicating more businesses were planning to offer discounts during the March quarter than at any time since the survey began in 1988.

Lower prices are expected to be accompanied by weaker activity, with sales falling and businesses reducing inventory levels, the survey showed.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA BOARD MEETING AND RATE DECISION

Due: Tuesday

Period: February

Market forecast: No change, cash rate at 3.00 per cent.

Last Result: At its last meeting on December 6, the RBA cut the cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.00 per cent.

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ABS INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN GOODS AND SERVICES

Due: Tuesday

Period: December

Market forecast: Deficit of $700 million.

Last Result: Australia's trade deficit widened in November, official figures showed.

The balance on goods and services was a deficit of $2.637 billion in November seasonally adjusted, compared with a upwardly revised deficit of $2.443 billion in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said.

During the month, exports rose 1.0 per cent, while imports rose 2.0 per cent.

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ABS HOUSE PRICE INDEXES

Due: Tuesday

Period: December quarter

Market forecast: No forecast.

Last Result: House prices rose 0.3 per cent in the September quarter.

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AI GROUP/COMMONWEALTH BANK PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES INDEX

Due: Tuesday

Period: January

Forecast: No forecast.

Last result: Australia's services sector contracted in December, weighed down by falls in discretionary household spending.

The Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) fell 3.9 points to 43.2 in December.

Sub-sectors linked to household spending, such as retail trade and accommodation, cafes and restaurants all reported declines in activity in December.

Finance and insurance was the only sub-sector to expand in the month.

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ABS RETAIL TRADE

Due: Wednesday

Period: December

Market forecast: Rise of 0.3 per cent in the month.

Last result: Australian retail spending fell 0.1 per cent in November, official figures show.

Retail trade fell to a seasonally adjusted $21.533 billion, compared to a downwardly revised $21.547 billion in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

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ABS LABOUR FORCE

Due: Thursday

Period: December

Market forecast: Unemployment to remain at 5.4 per cent, for a rise of 9,000 in total jobs.

Last result: Australia's unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in December from 5.3 per cent in November.

Total employment fell 5,500 to 11.539 million in the month, according to the seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK BUSINESS SURVEY

Due: Thursday

Period: December quarter

Market forecast: No market forecast

Last result: The National Australia Bank's (NAB) quarterly survey showed the business conditions index for the September quarter was plus one, up from minus two in the June quarter.

Business confidence rose to minus two in the quarter, from minus three in the previous quarter.

Business conditions in some of the consumer-dependent and housing-related industries improved in the September quarter, most probably helped by recent interest rate cuts by the central bank.

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AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTION INDEX

Due: Thursday

Period: January

Market forecast: No forecast

Last result: Activity in Australia's construction industry slowed for the 31st consecutive month in December, with the home and apartment sector remaining especially weak, a report says.

The joint Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and Housing Industry Association's (HIA) performance of construction index (PCI) rose 1.8 index points to 38.8 points in December.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction and above 50 indicates expansion.

The latest report shows housing and apartment building had declined further in December.

House building activity declined at its steepest rate in the three months, the report said.

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AOFM TREASURY NOTE AUCTION

The AOFM will auction $1 billion of Treasury Notes maturing on 24 May 2013 and $500 million of Treasury Notes maturing on 7 June 2013.

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RBA STATEMENT ON MONETARY POLICY

Due: Friday

Last result: Australia's rate of economic growth is expected to slow in 2013 amid falling commodity prices and reduced investment in mining, the nation's central bank said in its statement on November 9.

The Reserve Bank of Australia on Friday revised its forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) growth to three per cent in 2013, down from 3.75 per cent in 2012.

It had previously forecast GDP growth of 2.75 to 3.25 per cent in 2013.

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AOFM BOND AUCTION

Due: Friday

The AOFM will auction $600 million of the July 2017 bond line.

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