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19 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Brexit: Britain stands on Brexit precipice

(19 October 2019, AFR, p15, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | In a hasty cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his ministers that Britain was like the Tim Robbins character in the ’90s movie The Shawshank Redemption. In the film’s memorable escape sequence, Robbins engineers an unlikely route out … Continue reading

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

19 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Brexit: Boris braces for parliamentary showdown to seal Brussels deal

(19 October 2019, AFR, p12, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Saturday attempt to cajole his Parliament into voting for his newly minted Brexit deal, facing the prospect that only a few votes in the 650-seat chamber separate stunning victory from inglorious defeat.’ Read more at … Continue reading

19 Oct 2019 (AFR) – PM promises to keep drought cash flowing – Rain unlikely ‘very soon’ in drought areas: Scott Morrison

(19 October 2019, AFR, p8, Tom McIlroy, Political reporter) ‘Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Coalition will continue to send cash to drought-affected communities in eastern Australia, promising to do more as ongoing dry hurts the federal budget. The government expects the drought will reduce GDP by at least 0.25 per cent through reductions in … Continue reading

18 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Jobless rate dips to 5.2pc

(18 October 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘A lower unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent in September has slashed the chances of a back-to back interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank in November and pushed the Australian dollar back close to US68¢. The economy added 14,700 new jobs last month after … Continue reading

18 Oct 2019 (AFR) – RBA tips housing supply shortfall

(18 October 2019, AFR, p4, Matthew Cranston) ‘Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle said a shortfall in housing supply was “quite likely” in the foreseeable future and that would trigger a “larger price response” in property values. Dr Debelle said demand for housing would continue to grow and 2020 could be the year construction bottoms … Continue reading

17 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Office vacancies fall in resource states – Office squeeze as Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth pick up

(17 October 2019, AFR, p34, Nick Lenaghan, Property Editor) ‘Steady improvement in the Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide office markets has sent the national vacancy rate a full percentage point lower to 8.1 per cent in the past year. Vacancy rates in the three resource sector-focused states tightened further over the third quarter, according to figures … Continue reading

17 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Changing delivery demands put retail sites at risk

(17 October 2019, AFR, p28, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Retail landlords face the prospect of more tenants going to the wall as online sales grow faster than many retailers can reconfigure their sites to respond, rendering stores unprofitable and making them likely to close, consultancy EY warns. Online will account for 19 per cent of … Continue reading

17 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Why the stock market is up, but everyone is down

(17 October 2019, AFR, p24,  Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Reporter) ‘The share market may be at or around all-time highs. Yet brokers and fund managers aren’t exactly revelling in the excess and enthusiasm one might expect after a decade-long bull market. Why is that so? Why is the share market no longer an indicator of welfare … 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

16 Oct 2019 (AFR) – IMF slashes growth as PM rejects stimulus call

(!6 October 2019, AFR, p1, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared his budget surplus plan will not be “spooked” by international events, as the International Monetary Fund slashed Australia’s economic growth forecast to just 1.7 per cent and advised world governments to unleash a spending stimulus. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook warned … Continue reading

16 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Rental (housing) market weakens following housing boom

(16 October 2019, AFR, p32, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Rental markets have weakened during the past three months as demand struggles to soak up the excess supply created by high investor activity during the recent housing boom, the latest CoreLogic Quarterly Rental Review shows. Nationally, rental rates dropped 0.3 per cent over the September quarter, reversing … Continue reading

16 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Time to ‘get out’: Architects pay hit by slump

(16 October 2019, AFR, p29, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘The slump in residential construction activity and consumer confidence about buying off the plan has weakened pay conditions in the property industry, with architects the first to feel the pain, according to the latest Avdiev Property Remuneration Report. “Too many architects and graduates and too few projects,” … Continue reading

16 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Investors in consumer stocks brace for profit warnings

(16 October 2019, AFR, p1, Sue Mitchell and Natasha Gillezeau) ‘Investors in stocks exposed to discretionary spending are bracing for a series of profit warnings amid growing evidence record low interest rates and tax cuts have failed to convince shoppers to pry open their wallets. The consumer malaise struck furniture retailer Nick Scali and radio … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Indian property slump leaves banks exposed

(15 October 2019, AFR, p42, Nupur Anan and Swati Bhat) ‘India might have thought the worst of a bad loans crisis was past, but a severe cash crunch in the real estate industry could augur fresh strife for its banks. A slump in the residential property market is leaving many builders struggling to repay loans … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Meet Australia’s new million-dollar suburbs

(15 October 2019, AFR, p38, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Sixty-eight Australian suburbs have surged past the million-dollar mark in the past three months after buyer confidence returned following the Coalition’s federal election victory and the RBA began cutting interest rates in June. The rise in million-dollar localities represents a 0.80 per cent increase in the number … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – IPO: HomeCo shrugs off retail gloom with strong debut

(15 October 2019, AFR, p33, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Home Consortium boss David Di Pilla is keen to distinguish the freshly floated retail landlord from its most obvious rival, listed large-format player Aventus, after its shares surged on debut to defy the retail gloom in some quarters. Trading under the ticker HMC, shares ended the day … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Global recession possible in next 18 months: Aviva

(15 October 2019, AFR, p29, William McInnes) ‘Aviva Investors are placing the likelihood of a global recession in the next 18 months at one in three, saying the uncertainty coming from the trade war is weighing major economies. UK-based Aviva manages £337 billion ($625 billion) globally and say global growth has now reached its weakest … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Clothing industry in decline as conscious consumers cut back

(15 October 2019, AFR, p15, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘The clothing industry is facing a long-term structural decline as consumers with ‘too much stuff’ cut back on the number of new outfits they buy, even as prices fall. Consumers have been buying clothes in ever-increasing quantities over the past 20 years as fast-fashion retailers such … Continue reading

15 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Singapore eases monetary policy for first time in three years

(15 October 2019, AFR, p12, John Geddie and Joe Brock) ‘Singapore | Singapore’s central bank eased monetary policy for the first time in three years on Monday, as widely expected, with the city-state’s bellwether economy narrowly dodging recession. Singapore – which is due to hold an election within months – has like other trade-reliant Asian … Continue reading

14 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Sydney (residential) rental vacancy rate drops

(14 October 2019, AFR, p33, Su-Lin Tan, Reporter) ‘Rental vacancies in Sydney dropped to 2.9 per cent, the lowest in a year, led by areas such as Chatswood, Auburn and Arndell Park, the latest REINSW Residential Vacancy Rate Report shows. September’s decline from 3.6 per cent in August brought the city-wide level below 3 per … Continue reading

14 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Stock-starved buyers ‘chasing property up’

(14 October 2019, AFR, p5, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Buyers taking out home loans at the fastest pace in three years pushed auction clearance rates back up to pre-football final levels, with four out of every five homes auctioned sold in Sydney on the weekend. The preliminary clearance rate in the NSW capital rose to … Continue reading

14 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Business investment points to ‘good news’

(14 October 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Fears of a business investment strike have been exaggerated – spending is at more than twice the level during the 1990s recession, new analysis from Deloitte Access Economic shows. Deloitte’s latest business outlook highlights that investment as a percentage of GDP in real terms “points to … Continue reading

14 Oct 2019 (TheAge,SMH) – Australia set to ‘muddle through’ house price pain, economist warns

(14 October 2019, The Age, p4, By Shane Wright) ‘The Australian economy is gently improving despite domestic problems, but falling interest rates are creating future housing affordability hurdles in Sydney and Melbourne that will hit young people, one of the nation’s chief economic forecasters has warned. Deloitte Access Economics, in its quarterly update on the … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (WSJ) – Stocks Climb on U.S.-China Trade Talk Progress

(12 October 2019 (AEST), Wall Street Journal online, By Gunjan Banerji) ‘U.S. stocks soared Friday on progress in the trade talks between the U.S. and China, helping the S&P 500 break a three-week losing streak. Major stock indexes jumped as President Trump offered an upbeat assessment of trade talks and the U.S. said it had … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – US recession risks ease, global risk intensifies

(12 October 2019, AFR, p32,  William McInnes) ‘Market-based measures of the risk of a US recession faded this week, but global indicators are painting a bleaker picture of the rest of the world, supporting the inference that the Germany economy is already in recession. Morgan Stanley’s recession indicator, which calculates the probability the US economy … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Military leaders have seen this before – it ended in the Iraq War

(12 October 2019, AFR, p20, Helene Cooper) ‘Washington | The last time the United States abandoned allies in the Middle East, military officials say, it helped lead to the Iraq War. Now, almost 30 years later, President Donald Trump has pulled US special forces and support troops away from Kurdish allies in northern Syria, easing … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Trump’s Syria withdrawal ‘biggest blunder of his presidency’

(12 October 2019, AFR, p12, Chris Dixon and Colby Itkowitz) ‘Charleston | Senator Lindsey Graham has called President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria “the biggest blunder of his presidency” as the three top Republicans in the House took steps towards sanctioning Turkey over its military offensive against US-allied Kurdish … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – First-time investors fuel home loan surge

(12 October 2019, AFR, p5, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘First-time property investors are driving a surge in home loan approvals, lured into the market by low interest rates and loosening credit rules, particularly from smaller lenders, brokers said. Investor home loans grew at their fastest pace in almost three years in August according to data released … Continue reading

11 Oct 2019 (AFR,Reuters) – German export slump amplifies recession alarm as trade conflicts bite

(11 October 2019, AFR, p16, Paul Carrel, Reinhard Becker, Reuters) ‘BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports fell by more than expected in August, data showed on Thursday, reinforcing expectations that a manufacturing slump is pushing Europe’s largest economy into recession.  Reliant on exports, German factories are suffering from a slowing world economy and uncertainty linked to … Continue reading