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10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Housing construction ticks up in June

(10 October 2019, AFR, p26, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘The decline in Australia’s housing construction has further to run, economists say, despite a stronger than expected pick-up in the apartment sector triggering a slight overall gain in housing starts. New building starts rose 1.1 per cent to 46,315 in the three months ended June 30, … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Improving cashflow, capital growth won’t trigger investor housing boom

(5 October 2019, AFR, p10, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Improving cashflow and even the prospect of stronger capital growth brought by lower interest rates are unlikely to entice hordes of property investors back into the market and trigger another investment boom, experts say. While investor activity had picked up since the federal election and after APRA … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX: ‘Heaven help us’: Fears of further volatility after ASX pummelled again

(4 October 2019, The Age, Business, p20, By David Scutt) ‘Global growth fears, trade tensions between the United States and European Union and stretched valuations combined to send Australian shares tumbling for a second consecutive session on Thursday, wiping more than $40 billion in value from the nation’s top companies. The S&P/ASX tumbled 2.2 per … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Trade surplus down on lower iron ore price

(4 October 2019, AFR, p10, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Australia’s monthly trade surplus has dipped back to $5.9 billion in August after hitting a record $8 billion in June, mainly due to a reduction in the price of iron ore and coal. While the surplus was largely in line with consensus, economists now expect a … Continue reading

2 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Interest rate cut: Record low rates trigger talk of QE and a fall in dollar

(2 October 2019, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston and John Kehoe) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official interest rate to a record low 0.75 per cent and signalled that it will cut further in the face of what it expects to be softer employment, downside risks to the global economy and only near … 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

20 Sept 2019 (TheAge) – Rate cut on cards to boost economy even as budget strengthens

(20 September 2019, The Age, p5, By Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw) ‘Interest rates could be cut to 0.75 per cent within a fortnight as unemployment ticks up and the economy struggles to shake itself out of its rut, despite the Morrison government delivering the best budget bottom line in a decade. Commonwealth Bank, JP … Continue reading

13 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Luxury cars following rising house prices

(13 September 2019, AFR, p3, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Luxury car sales have risen for the second month in a row, matching the recovery in the housing market, in a signal the economy could be getting back on track. Overall luxury car sales in the year to August were up 0.6 per cent following a … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Low rates, tax cuts not working yet: NAB, Westpac

(11 September 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Tax cuts and interest rate cuts are not having the intended effect on consumption, according to two of the most reliable business surveys, which both point to a further deterioration in the economy. The NAB Business Survey showed confidence and conditions declined in August, with a … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Millennial mindset exacerbates car sales slide

(11 September 2019, AFR, p1, Simon Evans and John Kehoe) ‘A greater reluctance by young people to become car owners is worsening the slide in new vehicle sales that has now lasted for longer than the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. A 10.1 per cent plunge in the number of new vehicles sold … 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

6 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Investors don’t buy the ‘death of the consumer’

(6 September 2019, AFR, p6, Tim Boyd and Luke Housego) ‘On the surface, economic data unveiled this week painted a bleak picture of the national retail industry, as annual economic growth slowed and retail trade contracted in July. But that hasn’t stopped investors jumping back into retail stocks.’ Read more at (might need AFR … 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) – The Chinese retailer shooting the lights out in Australia

(5 September 2019, AFR, p21, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘Australian retail might be in the doldrums but it’s not all doom and gloom. At variety retailer Miniso –  a cross between The Reject Shop and Japanese chain Daiso – same-store sales are growing more than 20 per cent as customers fill their baskets with budget-priced … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – New car sales plunge in August as loans dry up

(5 September 2019, AFR, p21, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘New vehicle sales in Australia plunged by 10.1 per cent in August as buyers struggled to obtain finance for cars, extending an industry-wide malaise which has gripped the sector for 17 consecutive months. New figures out on Wednesday from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) … Continue reading

5 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Retail, Fashion: Karen Millen winds down in Australia

(5 September 2019, AFR, p19, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘British-based fashion retailer Karen Millen is withdrawing from Australia, joining a growing list of retailers that have collapsed or shut up shop in the last 12 months. Karen Millen, which went into administration in the UK last month, has appointed Richard Hughes, Tim Norman and Michael … 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) – Mortgage arrears are rising: S&P

(4 September 2019, AFR, p31, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘The number of home owners falling behind their mortgages have risen to 1.5 per cent over the past 12 months to June, as falling property prices and tighter lending conditions have made it tougher for people to manage their debts, the latest S&P Global Ratings report shows.’ … Continue reading

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 (AFR) – ‘Significant’ step up in house price growth

(3 September 2019, AFR, p1, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Reporter) ‘Cheap money compounded by a looming housing shortage could push property prices 20 per cent higher over the next couple of years, with competition among house hunters already ramping up just three months into a market recovery. A backlog of eager buyers tussling over limited stock led … 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) – 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

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

19 Aug 2019 (AFR) – ASX struggles through ‘messy’ earnings season amid rising global risks

(19 August 2019, AFR, p22, Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘Investors are set to start the week on a steadier footing after a tumultuous two weeks, but an early reading on global manufacturing activity looms as a key test for investors as the ASX’s underwhelming earnings season rolls on.’ <snipped…> ‘So far, the profits season has provided … Continue reading

19 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Pessimism dents business investment plans

(19 August 2019, AFR, p2, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘More small and medium-sized businesses [SMBs] expect the economy to get worse  in a year’s time than those businesses who think there will be an improvement, according to the latest Sensis Business Index. While 22 per cent of the 1000 businesses in the survey expect an … Continue reading

17 Aug 2019 (AFR) – The bond market and recession: Is this time different?

(17 August 2019, AFR, p25, Vesna Poljak, Markets Editor) ‘The terrifying signal sent by the inversion of the US yield curve cannot be ignored, but neither is it fully understood, even though its strike rate in predicting recessions could be about to extend to eight from eight. There was no recovery in the sharemarket on … Continue reading