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2.Economic forecasts

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19 Oct 2019 (AFR) – China’s economic growth misses forecasts in third quarter

(19 October 2019, AFR, p13, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shenzhen | China’s economy grew at a weaker-than-expected 6 per cent in the third quarter as Donald Trump’s trade tariffs and a contracting manufacturing sector saw gross domestic product scrape in at the bottom end of the government’s target and hit a fresh 30-year low. While … Continue reading

17 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Global economic policymakers are playing with fire

(17 October 2019, AFR, p23, Martin Wolf, Columnist) ‘These are fragile times. Some of that reflects the wave of populist nationalism that is now sweeping across high-income countries. But some of it reflects sterile orthodoxy, writes the FT’s Martin Wolf.’ <snipped…> ‘Joint research by the Brookings Institution and Financial Times is bleaker still, describing our … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Investors ignoring growing global economic risks, RBA warns

(5 October 2019, AFR, p6,  Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Global equity, bond and commercial property markets could suffer savage sell-offs if investors, who have until now been remarkably complacent about risk, suddenly wake up to the deteriorating global outlook. In its October Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank highlights the darkening global outlook, as economic activity has … Continue reading

30 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Price rises set the housing market up for another boom

(30 September 2019, AFR, p22, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘All the ingredients for another house price boom are in place, economists have warned, after prices rose again in August and stirred the fears among market watchers already uncomfortable with high household leverage. Economists participating in The Australian Financial Review’s September quarter survey were struck by the … Continue reading

30 Sept 2019 (AFR) – interest rates: RBA to slash cash rate to 0.5 per cent; fiscal calls mount

(30 September 2019, AFR, p1, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia will slash the cash rate twice more by June 2020, with the first cut coming as soon as tomorrow, as market economists warn that interest rates are losing their power to rescue growth. The economists are pushing for the federal government to … Continue reading

21 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Growth forecast slashed again, rate cut odds edge higher

(21 September 2019, AFR, p8, John Kehoe and Matthew Cranston) ‘Australia’s economic growth forecast has been slashed to 1.7 per cent this year by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has warned the global economy is “increasingly fragile and uncertain” because of trade wars. The OECD’s interim economic outlook said international economic growth … Continue reading

18 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Tax cut spending? It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen — Consumers spending tax cuts faster than expected

(18 September 2019, AFR, p3, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Consumer spending intentions are back in positive territory for the first time since early 2019 and have returned faster than expected because of the Coalition’s tax cuts, the Commonwealth Bank’s latest analysis of 2.5 million households says. CBA’s Household Spending Intentions series, generated from the bank’s … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (AFR) – ‘Catastrophic’ conflict from US debt blowout – US on brink of budget, social crises

(11 September 2019, AFR, p1, Jacob Greber, United States Correspondent) ‘Washington | The fast-deteriorating record of debt, deficits and inequality in Donald Trump’s United States is creating an unprecedented policy challenge that left unattended will “profoundly shake” the very core of the country’s  financial, political and social fabric, says Australia’s diplomatic envoy to New York. … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (TheAge) – China’s already in pain, and that’s before the latest Trump tariffs

(11 September 2019, The Age, Business, p23, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The impact of the trade war with the US is now being reflected in a steady deterioration of China’s economic data even before the most recent tariff imposts have had a chance to bite. This week’s trade data shows that both its exports and imports are … Continue reading

7 Sept 2019 (AFR) – As economies falter, markets grow wilder

()7 September 2019, AFR, p29,  Patrick ComminsColumnist) ‘Reporting season generated ‘unprecedented’ volatility as 35 per cent of listed firms recorded share price moves of over 5 per cent on the day of their results. Economies are less dynamic and business cycles are squashed, yet financial market valuations have grown rich and increasingly prone to wild … Continue reading

6 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Record standard of living as our income recession ends

(6 September 2019, AFR, p7, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘A mix of high resource prices and rising wages have helped Australia dig itself out of an income recession and reach a record standard of living as measured by disposable income per person. Real disposable income per capita rose 1 per cent in the June quarter … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Private business takes the lead in revenue growth

(5 September 2019, AFR, p47, Phil Ruthven) ‘Visy maintains its ascendancy in the Top 500, but Hancock Prospecting is poised to overtake it. The largest 500 private businesses accounted for just under 4.3 per cent of the $5.5 trillion in revenue recorded across the Australian economy in 2018-19, and grew faster than other businesses. Combined, … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – The message in the economic numbers

(5 September 2019, AFR, p32,  Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘The first current account surplus since the 1970s and the slowest pace of GDP growth in a decade. It’s been a week of dizzying highs and, if not exactly terrifying, then troubling lows. Growth in real GDP over the June quarter of 0.5 per cent met analysts’ … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – ASX hit as economic warning bells ring

(5 September 2019, AFR, p30, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The ringing of a number of economic warning bells pushed the Australian sharemarket lower on Wednesday, with concerns global growth was slowing faster than expected, leading investors to sell. The first major sign the trade war was beginning to weigh on the US emerged on Tuesday, with … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – ‘Undeniable’ cracks open in US economy as trade war slams factories

(5 September 2019, AFR, p15, Jacob Greber, United States Correspondent) ‘Washington | Damage from the worsening US-China trade war is beginning to weigh on the world’s biggest economy, with American manufacturing  joining a spreading contraction that has already hit 70 per cent of the world’s factories. Amid a dearth of signs Washington and Beijing are … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – China services grows at fastest pace in three months

(5 September 2019, AFR, p14, Liu Jiefei) ‘Beijing | China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in August as the growth of new business orders placed with services providers picked up, a survey showed on Wednesday. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which provides a snapshot of operating conditions … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – More rate cuts needed after poor business investment, low growth

(5 September 2019, AFR, p8, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Expectations are rising for further interest rate cuts after weaker consumption and poor business investment led to the slowest annual pace of economic growth since 2009 at 1.4 per cent. Held up only by surprisingly strong mining investment, higher government spending and record net exports, the … Continue reading

4 Sept 2019 (AFR) – The deficit that no longer seems to matter

(4 September 2019, AFR, p36, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Thirteen treasurers and 44 years after the last one, Australia has again managed to record a current account surplus of $5.8 billion. But does anyone care? In June 1975, federal treasurer Jim Cairns was dismissed by Gough Whitlam for his involvement in the so-called Khemlani affair, … Continue reading

4 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Interest rates: RBA on hold amid property ‘turnaround’

(4 September 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent)   ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia has held the official cash rate at 1 per cent but has warned that softer economic conditions and heightened global economic uncertainty will bring further rate cuts.’ Read more at (might need AFR login, or try:

4 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Surplus may signal a new era for the $A

(4 September 2019, AFR, p6, Patrick Commins and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The prospect of a structural improvement in the country’s “chronic” net income deficit has the potential to recast foreigners’ views of the Australian economy and its currency, experts say. Official data released Tuesday morning confirmed a June quarter current account surplus of $5.9 billion – … Continue reading

4 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Trade surplus keeps Australia’s economy on track

(4 September 2019, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Concerns that the economic growth may have contracted in the June quarter have been relieved by an export surge that has produced Australia’s  first current account surplus since 1975 and held back the Reserve Bank of Australia from cutting official interest rates below 1 per cent. … Continue reading

3 Sept 2019 (TheAge) – Shock drop in stockpiles may have sent economy backwards

(3 September 2019, The Age, p8, By David Scutt) ‘Australian businesses sharply ran down their stockpiles in the June quarter producing a shock drop in inventories that may have sent the economy backwards. According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday, non-farm inventories fell by 0.9 per cent in the … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Home building shrinks, economists cut GDP forecasts

(29 August 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Australia’s economic outlook has deteriorated further, with official figures showing home-building contracted at its fastest pace in almost 19 years in the June quarter and engineering construction work continued to shrink as infrastructure spending failed to offset weaker housing. Economists at JP Morgan on Wednesday cut … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – We spin like Trump, but we can’t fast-talk our way out of recession

(29 August 2019, The Age, p21, John Hewson) ‘If Australia drifts into recession in the next 12 months it will be due to two main factors – Donald Trump and benign policy neglect from our governments. I would put the probability at over 50 per cent. Trump and our own leaders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – Construction hits recession territory in threat to national economy

(29 August 2019, The Age, p9, By Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw) ‘The residential construction sector is facing its deepest contraction since the GST was introduced, dragging down the overall economy amid warnings that fast-tracking national infrastructure has now become urgent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday revealed overall construction across the economy fell … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – A ‘hard landing’ for China could put 550,000 Australian jobs at risk

(29 August 2019, The Age, p1, By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright) ‘The Chinese economy risks hurtling towards a “hard landing” that could threaten more than half a million Australian jobs. The China Matters forum, backed by mining giant Rio Tinto, Australian National University and Star Casino, will present research next week that warns a … Continue reading

22 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Mining town property prices are on the up

(22 August 2019, AFR, p34, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘It has taken five years, but the housing markets that have been savaged by the resources downturn are finally staging a sustained recovery, a new data shows. Property prices and sales volumes have risen in a number of mining towns in Queensland and Western Australia over the … Continue reading

20 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Markets are adjusting to a turbulent world

(20 August 2019, AFR, p25,  Rana Foroohar, Columnist) ‘Paradigm shifts tend to happen slowly, and then all at once. That’s the lesson I’ve taken away from the recent market turmoil. As I wrote last week, the surprise is only that the upset didn’t come sooner.’ <snipped…> ‘Consider that since January 2018 every major economy except … Continue reading

20 Aug 2019 (AFR) – ‘I don’t see a recession,’ says Donald Trump

(20 August 2019, AFR, p12, Jacob Greber, United States Correspondent) ‘Washington | America’s economy is strong, isn’t headed to recession and is forcing China to “eat” tariffs, said President Donald Trump and his top economic advisers as the administration scrambles to counter a wave of downturn fears. Speaking as he headed back to Washington from … Continue reading

20 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Australia’s yield curve doesn’t always predict recession

(20 August 2019, AFR, p2, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Australia’s inverted yield curve has given false readings on predicting a recession at least five times in the last 30 years and should not be so heavily relied upon by investors as an indicator of negative growth. The inverted yield curve – where the official cash … Continue reading