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2.Economic forecasts

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19 April 2019 (TheAge) – Jobs surge past expectations but unemployment ticks up

(19 April 2019, The Age, p12, By Swati Pandey) ‘A bumper run in jobs extended to March and more people went looking for work, official data on Thursday showed, a sign the labour market remains strong despite a small uptick in the unemployment rate. The local dollar jumped about a quarter of a US cent … Continue reading

17 April 2019 (AFR) – Market sees October rate cut as a done deal

(17 April 2019, AFR, p29,  Vesna Poljak) ‘The futures market has elevated the chance of an October interest rate cut to a done deal, and bumped up the probability of an August cut to 76 per cent, after the Reserve Bank revealed worsening unemployment and below-target inflation would trigger policy easing. In outlining its thinking … Continue reading

17 April 2019 (AFR) – Morgan Stanley sees ASX200 dropping to 5800 by year’s end

(17 April 2019, AFR, p29, Sarah Turner) ‘The Australian mining sector is now worth more than the banking sector but, even with a strong performance from the country’s top resource companies, Morgan Stanley’s Chris Nicol doubts the ASX can extend a strong first-quarter into the end of the year. Morgan Stanley expects the S&P/ASX200 Index … Continue reading

10 April 2019 (AFR) – Australia’s growth rate slowing at twice the speed of peers, says IMF

(10 April 2019, AFR, p12, Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | Australia’s economic growth will slow at almost twice the speed of other advanced nations this year, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest outlook, which also includes a substantial downgrade to global expansion because of Donald Trump’s tariff wars. Australia’s gross domestic product growth will cool … Continue reading

8 April 2019 (AFR) – US stocks brace for grim reporting season

(8 April 2019, AFR, p23, Timothy Moore) ‘First-quarter reporting season begins in the United States this week, with JPMorgan and Wells Fargo first off the rank, and the outlook is not particularly optimistic. Morgan Stanley’s chief US equity strategy Michael Wilson said he expected the March quarter to be the first quarter where year-over-year earnings … Continue reading

8 April 2019 (AFR) – Global economy enters ‘synchronised slowdown’

(8 April 2019, AFR, p21, Chris Giles) ‘The global economy has entered a “synchronised slowdown” which may be difficult to reverse in 2019, according to the latest update of a tracking index compiled by the Brookings Institution think-tank and the Financial Times. Sentiment indicators and economic data across advanced and emerging economies have been deteriorating … Continue reading

8 April 2019 (AFR) – ‘Under stress’: One in five auctions pulled

(8 April 2019, AFR, p3, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Sydney homeowners are increasingly pulling their homes from auction before the big day while some Melbourne properties are now selling for less than their council valuations. Melbourne recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 56 per cent over the weekend from 775 scheduled auctions compared to a slightly higher … Continue reading

8 April 2019 (AFR) – ‘Delicate’: IMF warns on property slide

(8 April 2019, AFR, p1, Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | Australia’s housing market contraction is worse than first thought, says a top IMF analyst, leaving the economy in what he called a “delicate situation” that boosts the need for faster infrastructure spending and even potential interest rate cuts. In an exclusive interview, the International Monetary Fund’s … Continue reading

4 April 2019 (AFR) – Why retailers should feel better now – Harvey tips ‘domino effect’ boost to sales

(4 April 2019, AFR, p16, Simon Evans and Sue Mitchell) ‘Harvey Norman executive chairman Gerry Harvey expects a positive ”domino effect” on consumer spending from the federal budget tax cuts, which will prompt shoppers to buy shoes, fridges and televisions. “I think it will be across the board and it will have a domino effect,” … Continue reading

22 March 2019 (TheAge) – The sudden shift that should have all of us worried about the global economy

(22 March 2019, The Age, Business, p24, by Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The markets’ responses to the latest US Federal Reserve Board’s interest rate and balance sheet decisions were telling. The immediate reaction of the share market was to mark stocks up, before a more considered assessment sent them back down. Bond rates eased and the US … Continue reading

19 March 2019 (AFR) – Sydney and Melbourne house price fall sharpest in five downturns since 1965

(19 March 2019, AFR, p29, Su-Lin Tan) ‘The fall in Sydney real house prices is close to hitting its average downturn decline at only halfway through the average downturn cycle, setting it up for the sharpest drop for the city since 1965, a BIS Oxford Economics study shows.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

15 March 2019 (AFR) – Why economics must get broader before it gets better

(15 March 2019, AFR, p38, Mohamed El-Erian) ‘The economics profession took a beating after most of its leading practitioners failed to predict the 2008 global financial crisis, and it has been struggling to recover ever since. Not only were the years following the crash marked by unusually low, unequal growth; now we are witnessing a … Continue reading

15 March 2019 (AFR) – The case for the world economy’s defence even as growth slows

(15 March 2019, AFR, p29, Simon Kennedy and Zoe Schneeweiss) ‘The world economy may be the rockiest since the global financial crisis, but there are reasons to hope the current slowdown will be short-lived. Bloomberg Economics, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are among those whose economists reckon the slide will bottom out this quarter … Continue reading

14 March 2019 (AFR) – Will the next financial crisis be as bad as the last one?

(14 March 2019, AFR, p27, Patrick Commins) ‘The world has borrowed an extra $US66 trillion since 2008, when a global financial meltdown triggered a “great recession” in the United States and brought the world economy down. The total global debt pile sits at $US178 trillion ($252.2 trillion) as at the middle of last year, an … Continue reading

14 March 2019 (AFR) – Australians start to worry about their jobs as business, consumer confidence wanes

(14 March 2019, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston) ‘A growing number of Australians are worried about losing their jobs following soft economic growth numbers, as a slide in consumer sentiment matches the loss in business confidence and conditions. Consumer confidence has now fallen to its lowest level since September 2017, according to the latest Westpac Melbourne … Continue reading

14 March 2019 (TheAge) – Global slowdown is becoming more intense – and no one knows why

(14 March 2019, The Age, Business, p25, By Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘One of the great post-crisis conundrums has been why, with interest rates at historic lows, debt and deficits at historic highs and, in some developed economies, unemployment at their lowest levels for decades, economic growth, inflation and wages growth have remained so stubbornly weak. Recent … Continue reading

13 March 2019 (AFR) – Australian economy exposed to two housing markets: CBRE global economist

(13 March 2019, AFR, p33, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Australia’s dependence on the construction sector raises an alarm bell as such exposure can cause a housing correction to trigger a wider economic downturn, according to CBRE’s global chief economist, Professor Richard Barkham. The US-based economist, who is visiting Australia this week, said there was cause for concern … Continue reading

13 March 2019 (AFR) – Big spending politicians ignore economic storm clouds

(13 March 2019, AFR, p28, Karen Maley) ‘The outlook for global economic growth has become decidedly bleaker over the past few months, but you’d never know it from listening to our politicians, who appear determined to ignore the gathering storm clouds as they head towards the polls.’ <snipped…> ‘Voters, however, don’t appear to be fooled … Continue reading

9 March 2019 (AFR) – Mario Draghi slashes outlook for eurozone, announces return to stimulus

(9 March 2019, AFR, p12, Jack Ewing) ‘Frankfurt | The European Central Bank has signalled deep concern about the state of the region’s economy by unexpectedly reversing course and reviving stimulus measures originally designed for times of crisis. The move by the normally cautious bank on Thursday (Friday AEDT) to try to forestall recession showed … Continue reading

9 March 2019 (AFR) – ‘Pervasive uncertainty’ pushes top central banks to patient stance

(9 March 2019, AFR, p12, by: Howard Schneider and Balazs Koranyi) ‘Washington/Frankfurt | “Patient” monetary policy. “Muted” inflation. “Uncertainty” over global trade and government policies that may be undermining the economy. Evidence of a world slipping back to an inflation-less, slow-growth norm — the outlook that prompted the US Federal Reserve to halt its interest … Continue reading

9 March 2019 (AFR) – Global growth worries slam into ASX

(9 March 2019, AFR, p1, by: Sarah Turner, Bo Seo and William McInnes) ‘Australian investors drove the market to its worst session in five weeks after an unexpected policy backflip from the European Central Bank added to growing alarm over the health of the global economy. The losses come after a week where GDP data … Continue reading

7 March 2019 (TheAge) – Global economic warning comes as Australia falls into ‘per-capita recession’

(7 march 2019, The Age, p5, By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright) ‘Global and Australian growth will probably slow even further, the OECD has warned in the wake of figures confirming the national economy has fallen into a ”per-capita recession” for the first time since 2006. The Australian dollar dropped sharply to a two-month low … Continue reading

7 March 2019 (AFR) – Growth and jobs ‘puzzle’ key to economic outlook

(7 March 2019, AFR, p4, John Kehoe) ‘Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is trying to solve the “puzzle” of why economic growth figures have been weak since the middle of last year but employment has remained robust. The reason behind the mysterious disconnect will have profound implications for the economy and monetary policy … Continue reading

6 March 2019 (AFR) – RBA keeps interest rates on hold – Tension growing on RBA’s watch and wait on rate

(6 March 2019, AFR, p4, Matthew Cranston) ‘Economists cut their growth forecasts following weaker than expected net exports numbers, as the Reserve Bank’s held the official interest rate a record low of 1.5 per cent for the 28th time in a row. The RBA said “uncertainty” in the economy continued but that a 3 per … Continue reading

6 March 2019 (TheAge) – Consumers shun cars as economy leans on government spending

(6 March 2019, The Age, p4, by Shane Wright) ‘The national economy is facing its sharpest slowdown in two years ahead of the federal election as cash-strapped consumers shut their wallets, with Australia increasingly reliant on government spending to sustain growth.’ Read more at

5 March 2019 (AFR) – Australia’s GDP growth to make 30 years in a row, despite chance of global recession

(5 March 2019, AFR, p3, Matthew Cranston) ‘Don’t panic; Australia’s economic growth will expand for another two years to reach its 30th birthday because of low macro volatility and its ability to handle debt properly, BIS Oxford Economics says. However, it may face some challenges with economists placing a 25 per cent chance of a … Continue reading

4 March 2019 (AFR) – Australia risks a ‘per capita’ recession

(4 March 2019, AFR, p23, Patrick Commins) ‘Australia’s reliance on a fast-growing population to drive economic growth may be laid bare this week, as fourth-quarter GDP figures risk confirming a “per capita” recession. Per capita measurements strip out the effect of population growth, which adds to economic activity in aggregate but which can mask underlying … Continue reading

1 March 2019 (AFR) – Business investment better than expected, outlook optimistic

(1 March 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston) ‘Businesses across Australia have forecast a ramp-up in spending and investment next financial year and strong estimates for this financial year after posting a better than expected injection of $30 billion in the December quarter. However a slightly weaker than expected level of equipment expenditure in the fourth … Continue reading

28 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Construction slips as apartment, infrastructure work declines in December

(28 February 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby and Matthew Cranston) ‘Weaker-than-expected construction figures – as declining housing and engineering work offset a non-residential pick-up – have clouded the outlook for fourth-quarter GDP growth next week. Quarterly construction work fell to a seasonally adjusted $51.1 billion from $52.7 billion in the September quarter, making for the … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – The big problem for Bill Shorten in Treasury’s changing assumptions

(27 February 2019, AFR, p9, John Kehoe) ‘The economy’s persistent under shooting on wages and productivity is putting Treasury’s budget and economic forecasting framework under pressure ahead of the federal election. Treasury secretary Philip Gaetjens revealed last week at a Senate hearing that the government’s chief economic adviser was reviewing its forecasting methodologies.’ Read more … Continue reading