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CEDA revives super-housing fix

By Leith van Onselen The Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) has released a new paper, The super challenge of retirement income policy, outlining its plan for retirement reform. The paper argues that Australia’s ageing population and decreasing housing affordability means the current structure and policies in place may not be robust enough to ensure

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Queensland’s slow housing recovery

By Leith van Onselen Below is a quick update on the latest fortnightly State Government data on housing transfers and mortgage lodgements for Queensland. As shown below, the number of housing transfers and mortgage lodgements (including refinancings) bottomed in December 2012 and has been rising gradually ever since, commensurate with Queensland housing prices: The number

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A turning point for US inflation?

By Westpac’s Elliot Clarke: The lack of inflation in early 2015 has provided strong justification for the FOMC to hold off on policy normalisation, despite the unemployment rate signalling a labour market near full employment. Simply, on both a CPI (0.2%yr) and PCE basis (0.3%yr; the FOMC’s preferred measure), annual headline inflation is much closer

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Links 1 September 2015

Global Macro/Markes If the Options Market Is Right, China’s Stock Rescue Is Doomed – Bloomberg World to Fed: We’re prepared for U.S. rate hike, so don’t delay – Reuters It’s a weak ray of sunshine trying to disperse dark clouds over mining sector – Guardian, Jericho Unlocking subsaharan Africa trade potential – Project Syndicate (interesting

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ASX at the close

by Chris Weston It is bizarre that S&P 500 and commodity futures should open 1% lower based on the idea that the Chinese Stability Fund will no longer be active in the market. It seems like we simply need a reason to panic these days. In theory, adding to the Stability Fund’s current position and

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Gotti sounds Triguboffonomic alarm

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) has gotten off the phone again with his mate, “Highrise” Harry Triguboff, who has asked him to “alert Australia that next year we could face a real estate crisis” if Australia’s banks pull funding from buyers of apartments, which are heading into oversupply. From Business Spectator: The major

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Hawks rule as Fed prepares to hike

by Chris Becker One of the main thresholds the Fed is looking at before it jumps into a tightening cycle is the personal consumption expenditure or PCE print, which on Friday night surprised to the upside. From USNews: Disposable personal income climbed 0.5 percent for the fourth consecutive month of growth, according to a report

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Mining exploration tanks in June quarter

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data for the June quarter, which revealed heavy falls in both mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure. Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration fell by a seasonally-adjusted $52 million (-13.9%) over the June quarter, continuing the extended run of falls

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Business indicators to drag on GDP

From the ABS comes Business Indicators for the June quarter: Real sales volumes fell in seasonally adjusted terms for both manufacturing and wholesale trade, which will drag on real GDP growth. Inventories were also flat over the June quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, below expectations of a 0.2% quarterly lift and well below the last

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Investor credit slows as APRA curbs bite

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) today released its private sector credit aggregates data for the month of July: A chart showing the long-run breakdown in the components is provided below: Personal credit growth (0.0% MoM; 0.4% QoQ; 0.9% YoY) remains in the gutter, whereas business credit growth (0.7% MoM; 1.2%

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TD MI inflation flat as a tack

by Chris Becker The TD Securities – Melbourne Institute Monthly Inflation Gauge barely rose during August – up 0.1% after the 0.2% lift-off in July. This is going to weigh on the RBA tomorrow. Salient points from TD: In the twelve months to August, the Inflation Gauge increased by 1.7 per cent, following a rise of

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HIA new home sales past peak

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: The HIA New Home Sales Report, a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, showed a very modest decline of 0.4%. HIA say key leading indicators of home building, including HIA New Home Sales, suggest little prospect for further growth in new home construction in 2015/16.

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China will not support stocks as Fed hawks spook risk

by Chris Becker Its been a dour Monday morning so far on the markets, with the AUD falling, S&P500 futures off 1% in reaction to two risk-off pieces of news coming out this weekend. This is not just early Monday morning illiquidity talking – something is spooking risk. First, everyone is talking about this cover

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Will Hockey be the Government’s fall guy?

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax is running an article today claiming that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is being urged to dump Joe Hockey as Treasurer before calling an early election in March 2016, with Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, tipped as Hockey’s replacement: Fairfax Media has been told by two cabinet ministers that talks over

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7-Eleven at centre of another foreign labour rort

By Leith van Onselen A joint Fairfax-Four Corners investigation has uncovered that around two-thirds of 7-Eleven stores across Australia are ruthlessly exploiting foreign workers – many of them students – by paying them just $10 an hour and making them work long shifts without a break: Explosive internal documents reveal that between July and August this

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The Coalition’s half-baked tax reform

By Leith van Onselen Federal finance minister, Mathias Cormann, has declared that the Coalition’s planned income tax cuts will not be achieved solely by cutting public expenditures, but as part of a broader reform package, possibly involving an increased GST, that would be taken to the next election. From The AFR: “That is our objective

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Auction clearances lift despite high volumes

Core Logic-RP Data released its auction market report yesterday, which posted a small rebound in the national auction clearance rate. The preliminary national clearance rate was 75.4%, up from the 74.1% rate recorded last weekend, according to Core Logic-RP Data:   Sydney’s clearance rate fell by 1.8% to 78.1%, whereas Melbourne’s was 77.0%, up significantly