6. Coming up this week...

Coming up this week in New Zealand's political economy...

Tuesday

The Government is due to announce a new chief science adviser to the Prime Minister to replace the retiring Peter Gluckman. See this profile of Gluckman from Newsroom's Eloise Gibson for more.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi is due to speak at the Financial Capability Summit on Auckland around 9 am.

Statistics New Zealand is scheduled to release data on electronic card transactions for retail spending in May at 10.45 am.

Parliament resumes for a four-week sitting session at 2pm. The Parliamentary caucuses are due to meet around 10am. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will stand in for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who flew back to Auckland late on Monday for the last time before she is due to give birth on Saturday.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Primary Industries select committee at 1pm.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Primary Industries select committee at 3.30 pm.

Wednesday

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor is due to speak at a Fieldays breakfast event at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet CEO Andrew Kibblewhite is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Finance and Expenditure select committee at 10.15 am.

Statistics New Zealand is scheduled to release food price index data for May at 10.45 am.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis is due to make an announcement about the future of the Waikeria Prison at 4pm at Waikeria.

Thursday

The US Federal Reserve is expected to hike its official cash rate (the federal funds rate) by 25 basis points to around 2.0 percent early on Thursday morning New Zealand Time. But the focus will be on its outlook, with markets expecting indications of just one more 25 basis point hike during the rest of the year. (See the chart above thanks to Kiwibank)

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor is scheduled to release MPI's latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) report forecasting farming sector returns at Fieldays around 9 am.

Energy Minister Megan Woods is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Economic Development, Science and Innovation select committee to discuss the Budget at 9 am.

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital media Minister Clare Curran is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Economic Development, Science and Innovation select committee to discuss the Budget at 10.30 am.

Economic Development Minister David Parker is scheduled to appear before Parliament's Economic Development, Science and Innovation select committee to discuss the Budget at midday.

Friday

The European Central Bank is due to release its latest decision on interest rates and bond buying or quantitative easing on Friday morning New Zealand time.

The ECB is still buying both Government and corporate bonds after almost four years, building up a stockpile of 2.4 trillion euros (NZ$4 trillion) of bonds that includes 22 percent of Europe's Government debt and 20 percent of corporate debt. Some expect the ECB to detail its plans to end bond buying. Others see renewed weakness in Europe's economy and the latest Italian turmoil forcing yet another delay in the ECB's plans for tapering.

The New Zealand dollar has been bumping along near seven-year lows of 58-60 euro cents this year. In theory, signs of an ECB and a move to more normal interest rates would increase the euro and lower the New Zealand dollar.