Australian Economy


Straya: world’s biggest gambler

by Chris Becker Time to double down and buy casinos and pokie operators (Woolworths is the biggest if you didn’t know already), as news from The Economist paints an ugly picture of Australian society: Thankfully the stats don’t include punting on house prices, otherwise what an embarrassment. But in all seriousness, pokie machines – which make


Govt accused of “double dipping” into $680m ASIC fee chest

By Nathan Lynch, Head Regulatory Analyst for Australia & New Zealand, Thomson Reuters The federal government is considering “double charging” companies for A$260 million worth of annual regulatory fees under its proposed user-pays model for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), sources have revealed. The proposed cost recovery model is designed to replace the


Australian immigration nears GFC low

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures data for the month of July, which registered further falls in net long-term and permanent migration into Australia. In the year to July 2015, there were 684,060 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia – down from the record 792,500


Growth below 3% the “new trend”

By Leith van Onselen Professor Ross Garnaut, one of the ‘godfathers’ of Australian economics and author of Dog Days, has warned that economic growth below 3% is the “new trend” and expressed alarm that Australia’s banks remain hooked on wholesale debt markets. From The AFR: The author of Dog Days foreshadowed two years ago much


FIRE sector pushes risk past GFC levels

By Leith van Onselen Wednesday’s national accounts release for the June quarter confirmed that Australia’s FIRE economy – Finance, Insurance and Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Services – continues to scorch the economy, increasing its share of the Australian economy to a record 11.7% (see next chart). Since financial markets were first deregulated in the mid-1980s,


Household income holding up better than nation’s

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday released real household disposable income (HDI) data, derived from the June quarter national accounts (released Wednesday), which revealed that real per capita HDI rose by 0.1% over the quarter and was up by 0.7% over the past year (see next chart). As shown above,


Trade deficit improves in July

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today releasing trade data for the month of July, with Australia’s trade deficit improving to $2,460 million from $3,050 million in June (revised up from $2,933 million). The result easily beat analyst’s expectations, who had expected the trade deficit to widen to $3.16 billion. It


Service sector grows again: AiG

by Chris Becker Following the good news about tourism, now some more on the services front as well today with the AIG PSI report for August expanding for the third consecutive month up to 55.6 points. The lower Aussie dollar is obviously paying off, and while the services sector is the biggest component of GDP,


Tourism is booming

by Chris Becker Some good news on the tourism front from the TRA (Tourism Research Australia) showing for the year ending June 2015: international visitor numbers increased 7% to a new high of 6.6 million visitors international visitor spend grew by 10% to a record $33.4 billion—or $3.2 billion more than the previous year. This is


Charting the fall in Aussie living standards

By Leith van Onselen To add some perspective on why MB believes the Australian economy is so fragile, and why living standards are falling, I have once again taken the time to deflate three measures of the domestic economy, as provided in the June quarter national accounts (released yesterday), by the ABS’ population data, in order


The mining states’ boom and bust

By Leith van Onselen For years, the resources boom was the gift that keept on giving, driving the Australian economy forward through the post-Global Financial Crisis period, helped in no small measure by the huge surge in mining-related capital expenditures (capex). Now, mining capex is in free fall (see next chart), causing clear headwinds for


GDP at 0.2%: Did the Aussie economy just snap?

By Alpha Beta Strategy and Economics, republished with permission Aussie growth slows … again ABS data released today showed Australian economic growth slowing to just 0.2% over the quarter. This is the slowest rate of quarterly growth since the global financial crisis, with the exception of the quarter affected by the Queensland floods. More importantly,


WA: where reality goes off the deep end

by Chris Becker I don’t know where to begin when a political leader makes statements like this. From the West Australian: Premier Colin Barnett says economic commentators calling the end of the mining boom are “naive and wrong”, and says he believes commodity markets have stabilised ahead of a recovery in the next year. Speaking


GDP rises 0.2%, misses expectations

The ABS has just released the June quarter national accounts and it’s missed expectations with a 0.2% quarterly rise versus expectations of 0.4% growth. Annual growth slowed to 2.0% versus 2.2% expected: Per capita GDP shrunk by 0.2% over the June quarter, whereas aggregate nominal GDP rose by just 0.3% over the quarter and by


Is Australia sliding into recession?

By Leith van Onselen After 96 quarters without experiencing a “technical recession” (i.e. two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth), the Wall Street Journal has asked the question: Is Australia Sliding into Recession? …economists are seeing red flags that point to a looming economic slump… Some economists, including from UBS, Goldman Sachs and Morgan


Commodities crash accelerated in August

By Leith van Onselen The RBA has released its commodity price index for August, which registered a sharp 3.1% decline in SDR (currency weighted) terms – the key determinant of the terms-of-trade – and a 1.0% fall in Australian dollar terms: Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index fell by 3.1 per cent (on


Australia’s terms-of-trade falls to 9-year low

By Leith van Onselen Within today’s data dump of balance of payments data that feeds into tomorrow’s national accounts release for June was the important news that Australia’s terms-of-trade has fallen another 3.4% (seasonally adjusted) and 2.5% (trend) over the quarter to be down by 10.5% (seasonally adjusted) and 9.2% (trend) over the year (see


CAD blows out, slashes GDP

by Chris Becker The 2nd quarter balance of payments was just released this morning and the current account balance blew out to $19 billion, almost double the prior quarter’s $10.7 billion and well above expectations. Significantly, net exports as a percentage of GDP is now an even bigger drag, at -0.6% instead of the expected