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22 Nov 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Weak’ Australian economy needs government spending, OECD says

(22 November 2019, The Age, p5, By Shane Wright) ‘The Australian economy is “weak”, with households weighed down by slow wages growth and higher taxes, the OECD has declared in a report that backs lower interest rates, calls for more government spending and paves the way for unconventional monetary policies. In its six-monthly review of … Continue reading

5 Nov 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Worrying sign’: Retail slumps to worst performance since last recession as jobs weaken

(5 November 2019, The Age, p1, By Shane Wright) ‘Australians are buying everyday goods at the slowest rate since the 1990-91 recession as signs grow that interest rate reductions and the Morrison government’s tax cuts have failed to encourage shoppers to open their wallets. As a key measure of the employment market pointed to a … Continue reading

4 Nov 2019 (AFR) – The European Union is in crisis mode

(4 November 2019, AFR, p13, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | The European Union is mired in an almost unprecedented cluster of crises, including a paralysed bureaucracy, a deadlock over its future budget, and a meltdown in relations with its eastern members and would-be members. With the geopolitical spotlight fixed on the Brexit crisis, … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – 60pc of directors expect the economy to get worse

(25 October 2019, AFR, p6, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘More than half of company directors expect the economy to deteriorate next year, prompting board members to call for the Morrison government to bring forward tax cuts and infrastructure spending to boost economic activity. Directors said global economic uncertainty, China’s uncertain economic outlook and low productivity … 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

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

17 Sept 2019 (AFR) – China’s slowdown deepens in August

(17 September 2019, AFR, p13, Kevin Yao and Stella Qiu) ‘Beijing | The slowdown in China’s economy deepened in August, with industrial production growing at its weakest pace in more than 17 years amid rising US trade pressure and softening domestic demand. Retail sales and investment gauges also worsened, data on Monday showed, reinforcing views … Continue reading

10 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Japan downgrades GDP as trade war hits investment

(10 September 2019, AFR, p20, Daniel Leussink) ‘Tokyo | Japan’s economy grew at a slower pace than initially estimated in the second quarter as the US-China trade war prompted a downward revision of business spending, intensifying calls for the central bank to deepen stimulus this month. Weakness in the global economy and worsening trade protectionism … 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

1 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Credit growth shrinks for first time in two years

(1 August 2019, AFR, p9, Lucas Baird, Reporter) ‘Lending to business contracted for the first time in more than two years in June, Reserve Bank data shows, capping off a period of stalled growth. But economists remained optimistic the figure would turn around and blamed the 0.1 per cent decline on the fallout from the … Continue reading

16 July 2019 (AFR) – China’s economy slows to 27-year low as Trump’s tariffs bite

(16 July 2019, AFR, p10, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in almost three decades in the second quarter as US President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs weighed on exports and weaker property investment offset Beijing’s stimulus efforts. Traders also warned that restrictions on Australian coal imports would remain … Continue reading

16 July 2019 (AFR) – Confidence surges on tax cuts, property prices

(16 July 2019, AFR, p4, Vesna Poljak) ‘Business conditions have recovered strongly in response to the Morrison government’s $158 billion tax cut package and stability in the housing market, a poll of 251 chief executives finds. The Executive Connection’s quarterly confidence index rallied 16 points to 113 points, signifying a return to positive territory and … Continue reading

16 July 2019 (TheAge) – Trump’s trade war is biting and leaving a nasty scar on China’s growth

(16 July 2019, The Age, Business, p23, By Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘China’s economy is slowing markedly as the impact of the Trump administration’s trade war on its economy continues to bite. Its June quarter numbers show China is on track to produce its weakest growth in nearly 30 years. The economy grew at “only’’ 6.2 per … Continue reading

13 July 2019 (AFR) – Singapore economy’s surprise contraction a warning for global trade

(13 July 2019, AFR, p14, Enda Curran) ‘An unexpected contraction in Singapore’s economy in the second quarter sent a warning shot to the world economy as simmering trade tensions wilt business confidence and activity. Gross domestic product in the export-reliant city state shrank an annualised 3.4 per cent in the quarter from the first three … Continue reading

12 July 2019 (AFR) – Pressure on Xi as China’s economy continues to slow

(12 July 2019, AFR, p13, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | China’s economic growth is expected to fall to a near 30-year low in the second quarter, as the full impact of Donald Trump’s trade tariffs kick in. This will add to pressure on president Xi Jinping to keep the world’s second-largest economy stable as … Continue reading

12 July 2019 (TheAge) – RBA research shows climbing debt is hitting household spending

(12 July 2019, The Age, p9, By Shane Wright) ‘Australia’s climbing debt levels are hurting the broader economy, with ground breaking research from the Reserve Bank showing a “debt overhang” that is directly hitting households and their ability to spend. In research that could challenge the Morrison government’s hopes for a tax refund-fuelled bounce in … Continue reading

4 July 2019 (TheAge) – Victorian shoppers keep their cards in their wallets as economy falters

(4 July 2019, The Age, p1, By Noel Towell) ‘Victoria’s economic growth has ground to a five-year-low as stagnant wages and plunging property prices force consumers to put away their credit cards. Only energy companies had reason to smile in the March quarter, with soaring bills for electricity, gas and other fuels the only things … Continue reading

20 June 2019 (AFR) – Japan exports slide for sixth month as global slowdown takes toll

(20 June 2019, AFR, p12, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Daniel Leussink) ‘Tokyo | Japan’s exports fell for a sixth straight month in May as China-bound shipments of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and car parts weakened, in a sign of a deteriorating outlook for growth as the trade-reliant economy faces persistent pressure from slowing external demand. Sluggish exports … Continue reading

6 June 2019 (TheAge) – No need for panic, but the government may need another economic plan

(6 June 2019, The Age, p6, By Shane Wright) ‘The economy is tanking. The Reserve Bank is slicing rates to a level not even considered during the Great Depression. And Donald Trump is playing tariff roulette with China. But none of this is going to have the freshly re-elected federal government panicking. Yet. The national … Continue reading

29 April 2019 (AFR) – Trump bump propels US towards 2020

(29 April 2019, AFR, p1, Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | A fresh surge in business “animal spirits” is driving Donald Trump’s economy to 2020 election winning heights – but only if consumers counting on a long-awaited wage rise growth get relief. The US economy has kicked off 2019 with the strongest first-quarter growth in four years, … Continue reading

26 April 2019 (AFR) – South Korea economy unexpectedly contracts

(26 April 2019, AFR, p15, Joori Roh and Cynthia Kim) ‘Seoul | South Korea’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis, as companies slashed investment and exports slumped in response to Sino-US trade tensions and cooling Chinese demand. The shock contraction boosted money market bets that the … Continue reading

19 March 2019 (AFR) – How the ASX has defied a slowing economy

(19 March 2019, AFR, p27, Patrick Commins) ‘…The economy slowed markedly in the second half of 2018. After growing at almost 4 per cent on an annualised basis over the first half of the year, GDP expanded at an annualised pace of more like 1 per cent annualised over the back half. A global growth … 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

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

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

28 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Signs of economic slowdown as construction drops off

(28 February 2019, The Age, p13, by Shane Wright) ‘Scott Morrison is facing an increasingly soft economy in the run-up to his pre-election budget, with signs government spending on infrastructure is failing to offset a sharp drop in housing construction across the nation. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed construction work done in … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – No ‘magic wands’, Productivity Commission boss says

(27 February 2019, AFR, p9, Matthew Cranston and John Kehoe) ‘Productivity Commission chairman Michael Brennan has warned the political class there are no “magic wands” to fix disappointing productivity growth, after the International Monetary Fund tipped real national income per capita to average lacklustre growth of just 0.3 per cent growth a year through to … Continue reading

23 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Short-term earnings pain masks bigger questions

(23 February 2019, AFR, p8, Chanticleer) ‘It’s tempting to blame short-term factors for the economic weakness that has dominated February’s corporate earnings season. And there’s no doubt that global trade tensions, a violent market correction in November and December, political instability and the banking royal commission have weighed on company profits. But an alternative view … Continue reading

14 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Carsales hit by mixed result at home, but international revs up

(14 February 2019, AFR, p19, by Max Mason) ‘Carsales chief executive Cameron McIntyre has blamed the banking royal commission for disappointing results in the company’s advertising and car finance divisions and says it is too early to tell when they will bounce back.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)