Australians appear to be a content lot, even in the face of a major disruption to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Economic data this week will show whether the recent run of upbeat consumer confidence figures translates into retail spending.
Last week, the monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer survey showed confidence soared to an 11-year high.
“The survey continues to signal that the consumer will be the key driver of above-trend growth in 2021,” Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said.
Preliminary retail trade figures for March are due on Wednesday.
Economists expect spending grew by a solid 1.0 per cent in the month, rebounding from the 0.8 per cent decline in February.
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the expected bounce in spending comes after the snap COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria and Western Australia weighed on the February result.
Labour force figures released last week showed the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 per cent in March from 5.8 per cent.
Employment Minister Stuart Robert told ABC’s Insiders program the numbers were pleasing and he remains cautiously optimistic at the outlook.
“Australians are doing it tough, no question about that,” he said.
“There are some really encouraging signs, we are seeing the highest rate of job advertisements at least in 12 years, so certainly work is out there, and the evidence I get from employers is they are struggling to find people.”
The National Skills Commission will issue its March vacancy report on Wednesday after its preliminary data showed job advertisements on the internet jumped to a 12-year high.
The Reserve Bank will also release the minutes of its April 6 monthly board meeting on Tuesday, a gathering that left the cash rate – and other key rates in its policy toolkit – at a record low 0.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, the local share market looks set to strike record highs this week, aided by further strength on Wall Street where investors took strong data and bank earnings as signs of momentum in the economic rebound.
The three main Wall Street indexes ended higher on Friday and on the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 per cent to 34,195.3, the S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 4,184.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.08 per cent, to 14,049.84.
Australian share futures rose 37 points or 0.5 per cent to 7071.
The Australian benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had closed 0.1 per cent higher on Friday at 7063.5.
It is now within 100 points of its record close set in February 2020, days before investors sold stocks heavily due to fears of the coronavirus.