Politicians and economists are pretty confident the Australian economy has rebounded from its massive economic contraction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A series of reports over the next week and half will give clues as to the size of of that recovery ahead of the September quarter national accounts due on December 2, and what it might mean for the final three months of the year.
The economy sank into recession for the first time in nearly 30 years in the first half of 2020, contracting by seven per cent in the June quarter after a more modest 0.3 per cent fall in the March quarter.
Australia has not suffered three consecutive quarters of contraction since the early 1980s recession, when it endured four.
Economists at Commonwealth Bank, for example, are expecting the national accounts to show two per cent economic growth for the September quarter, while National Australia Bank is looking at four per cent.
At this stage, economists are pointing to largely positive retail spending figures as restrictions were eased around the country, jumping 6.5 per cent in the September quarter after dropping 3.5 per cent in the previous three months.
However figures for construction and business investment this week are unlikely to be so spritely.
Construction work figures on Wednesday are forecast to fall 1.9 per cent for the September quarter after 0.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter.
On Thursday, private capital expenditure is predicted to fall 1.5 per cent after a 5.9 per cent drop in the previous three months. However of interest will be investment intentions contained in the report.
Economists will finalise their forecasts after business profits and inventories, trade and government spending data are released on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week.
Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told a conference last week the economy is on the road back to recovery, although he conceded it will likely be a bumpy journey and a full recovery will take some time.
His deputy Guy Debelle will return to the lectern on Tuesday for a lunchtime address on ‘Monetary Policy in 2020″ in an Australian Business Economists webinar.
Meanwhile, Australian shares look set for a positive opening on Monday in the face of the drag from a weak performance on Wall Street on Friday.
US shares finished lower on worries of a worsening COVID-19 pandemic, offsetting optimism over successes in finding a coronavirus vaccine.
On Saturday, the US topped 190,000 new infections in one day for the first time.
In contrast, Australia was virtually new-case free on Sunday.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.7 per cent to 3,557.54, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.7 per cent to 29,263.48 and the Nasdaq composite 0.4 per cent to 11,854.97.
Australian share futures were 34 points higher, or 0.5 per cent, at 6568.