Australian Economy


Is litigation Australia’s future under the TPP?

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Australia and Canada have a great deal in common – a British colonial past; large and sparsely populated territories; and resource-intensive economies. Two other similarities also bear mentioning: the economies of both countries are dominated by US investors (27% of foreign investment in Australia and nearly half in Canada); and both


Glencore slashes and burns jobs

From the AFR: Glencore will suspend almost half its zinc production in Australia as part of broader cuts to the company’s global zinc, lead and silver mines in another attempt by the Anglo-Swiss mining and trading house to reduce pressure on already depressed commodity prices. …The cuts in Australia are expected to result in the loss of 535 jobs, which


Confessions of an Australian manufacturer

From The Australian: BlueScope Steel’s struggling Port Kembla steelworks looks to have avoided closure after a union vote approved 500 site job losses, leading chief executive Paul O’Malley to declare that 4500 jobs in the Illawarra region had been saved. The vote to allow restructuring and extra flexibility should allow the steelworks to survive depressed


The NBN could boost Australia’s GDP by 2%

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The National Broadband Network (NBN) can boost Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by about 2% in the long term and, more importantly, add to our national welfare by improving real household consumption by 1.4%. These results, based on our recent research on the NBN’s economic benefit, mean the NBN will produce


ANZ: “dire outlook for economy in 2016 and 2017”

By Leith van Onselen ANZ has given support to MB’s view that the Australian economy will face a significant downturn over the next two years, warning that the outlook for the economy is “dire” in 2016 and 2017. From The AFR: The ANZ expects housing starts to peak at 215,000 in the year to December


Shorten’s plan to be the “infrastructure PM”

By Leith van Onselen As reported today in Fairfax and The Australian, Opposition leader Bill Shorten will release a new plan today to turn Infrastructure Australia into a $10 billion ‘infrastructure bank’ that would finance new public works and get stalled major projects moving, such as the Melbourne Metro urban rail project and Sydney’s Airport


JPM pushes out rate hikes as Elvis sighted

Some folks are in for a shock, JPM included, where Stephen Walters has cut his 2016 growth outlook to 2.6%  from 2.9% and pushed out his forecast for rate hikes from H2 2016 to H1 2017: I am particularly enamored of the mainstream economic fraternity’s assumption that business investment is only going to fall a little


Xenophon labels TPP a “dud”

By Leith van Onselen Independent senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, has attempted to throw a wet blanket over the fanfare surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, labeling the agreement a “dud” and calling on its text to be made public: Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, said serious concerns remained over medicine


Lower dollar continues to juice tourism

By Leith van Onselen The rebound in Australian tourism has been one major bright spot for the Australian economy, helped along in no small part by the depreciation of the Australian dollar. As noted earlier this morning, the ABS’ overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for August, released yesterday, revealed an ongoing improvement in Australia’s


Construction PMI eases

From the AIG:  The national construction industry expanded for a second consecutive month in September, with a slight easing in the pace of growth from August.  The seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group/ Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) registered 51.9 points in September. This was above the critical 50


QLD taxi rentiers turn violent

By Leith van Onselen The fight between the Queensland taxi industry and ridesharing service Uber-X has gotten ugly, with two Uber drivers reportedly bashed in Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point early on Monday morning. Greg Collins, the owner of the Virginia-based cab company Complete Taxi Management, gloated about the incidents on the Brisbane Taxi Driver


TPP ecstasy grips nation, shame nobody knows what’s in it

By Leith van Onselen Listening to the commentary yesterday surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was hysterical. According to Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who issued two media releases on the subject (here and here), the TPP “will establish a more seamless trade and investment environment across 12 countries which represent around 40 per cent of global


China tourism booms, bogan exodus tapers

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for August, which continued to show a trend rise in the number of inbound tourists and a reduction of out-bound tourists. While the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose was flat in August in trend terms, whereas


Australian immigration at GFC low

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures data for the month of August, which registered further falls in net long-term and permanent migration into Australia. In the year to August 2015, there were 679,990 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia – down from the record 792,500


Trade deficit widens in August

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today releasing trade data for the month of August, with Australia’s trade deficit deteriorating to $3,095 million from $2,792 million in July (revised up from $2,460 million). The result easily missed analyst’s expectations, who had expected the trade deficit to narrow to $2.4 billion. It


Housing now the key to confidence

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: The negative household confidence sentiment continued in September according to the latest results from our household surveys, released today.   The overall score was 87.73, compared with 87.69 last month. These are levels well below 100 which is a neutral result, and still in the lowest


Should Australia sell citizenship?

By Leith van Onselen A punch-up has developed over at Fairfax over a plan proposed by Senator David Leyonhjelm to establish a fee-based immigration system, whereby immigrants would pay a certain amount, say $50,000, to receive Australian residency. The scheme is currently being examined by the Productivity Commission (PC), but has been panned by a


Consumer confidence stuck in mud

By Leith van Onselen Consumer confidence remains bogged down, with the ANZ-Roy Morgan Research consumer confidence index falling another 0.6 points to 110.0 in the week ended 4 October, to be tracking well below the long-run average of around 113 (see next chart). The weekly fall in confidence was driven by increasing concerns about the


China FTA to flood Aust with foreign workers

By Leith van Onselen Joanna Howe, a senior law lecturer at Adelaide University and Rhodes Scholar who has advised the Coalition government on its temporary 457 visa program, has issued a damning report arguing that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) would “effectively surrender [Australia’s] autonomy over its migration laws” and invite a wave of


Service PMI eases

The AIG services PMI is out:   The services sector expanded for a fourth consecutive month in September, achieving its longest period of continuous expansion since March 2008. While the pace of expansion slowed by 3.4 points to 52.3, the Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Services Index (Australian PSI®) remained above the 50-point level