Houses and Holes


Unemployment steady

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its April Labour Force survey and news is not much: Employment increased 14,200 (0.1%) to 11,572,900. Full-time employment increased 14,200 to 8,045,100 and part-time employment was unchanged. Unemployment decreased 400 to 713,400. The number of unemployed persons looking for full-time work increased 8,700 to 519,500 and the number


PMIs: Rise of the West, fade of the East

Credit Suisse offers a good global PMI roundup today that I agree with: The April Global manufacturing PMI edged down to 52.0 from 52.1. After three consecutive monthly declines, the index is now at its lowest level since August last year. It nonetheless remains slightly above its long-term average of 51.6, suggesting that the overall


NAB cash pump slows

From Credit Suisse: Event: NAB reported (company defined) cash earnings of $3,150mn (up 9% on $2,903mn 1H13) which was in line with the $3,158mn Bloomberg consensus but 2% short of our $3,216mn estimate. Interim DPS of $0.99 (up 6% on $0.93 pcp) was in line with the Bloomberg consensus but $0.04 short of our estimate.


Citi sees “nuclear” Chinese property bust

Citi’s Oscar Choi and Marco Sze have produced this startling assessment of the Chinese property market: A Powerful Loosening “Combo” now a MUST to Prevent a “Demand Cliff”: We believe the physical market has reached a critical point, with potential for broader- based demand shrinkage across different product-ends. Beside the recurring factors like tight credit, HPR


China’s developer credit crunch intensifies

Cross posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. Flat growth in the trust industry is contractionary from the late 2013 peak. If credit elsewhere picks up it can offset the decline, but it also needs to flow to the borrowers served by the trust market. Evidence from prior months points to a more generalized slowdown in


Moody’s warns on Australian house prices

Looks like the RBA’s growth plan for the next three years has found an unwanted enemy. From Moody’s today: Moody’s Investors Service says that the recent appreciation in Australian house prices is not yet a concern for Australian banks but, if it persists at the current pace, could become credit negative within 12 months. “Australian


Yellen about recovery

Here’s the Janet Yellen’s overnight Capitol testimony in full with a few highlights in bold. In short, it’s stimulus as she goes. Chair Janet L. Yellen The Economic Outlook Before the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C. May 7, 2014 Chairman Brady, Vice Chair Klobuchar, and other members of the Committee, I appreciate this


And now an iron ore junket

The SMH Max Mason has cashed in on the increasing practice at Fairfax (which has today cut another 80 employees) of writing a glowing report on a junket: …While a live price is still a few years off, the increased use of iron ore derivatives allows trades to come through more frequently in a more liquid


DEEWR leading jobs index falls again

  From the Department of Employment and Education today: The Department of Employment’s Monthly Leading Indicator of Employment (the Indicator) has fallen for the seventh consecutive month in May 2014. This signals that employment is likely to grow more slowly than its upwardly revised long-term trend rate of 1.2 per cent per annum over coming


Australia’s “whipping boy” youth

Cross-posted from The Conversation. In the English court during the 15th and 16th centuries boys were engaged to cop the punishments of young princes. These young people were referred to as “whipping boys”. When the young crown prince misbehaved, the whipping boy was beaten and made to suffer. Such practice seems fanciful now. However, the idea


Wind farmer threatens Hockey with bull

The Canberra Times is carrying a story striking back at Joe Hockey’s utterly offensive recent comments about wind farms: The Bungendore farmer hosting wind turbines that Joe Hockey says are utterly offensive is challenging the Treasurer to a bull fight. Luke Osborne says George, his prized Angus bull, who has lived peacefully under the turbines for years,


CSJ: Chinese developers facing liquidity problems

Longer term readers may recall that in 2011/12, a string of Chinese developers faced a deteriorating feedback loop of falling sales and rising debt costs from loan sharks that threatened to dump stock onto Chinese housing markets and crash prices. Of course, authorities relented then and allowed a new cycle to bloom but the problem


Construction PMI fades as well

The national construction industry continued to decline in April, at a rate of contraction that was broadly unchanged from the previous month. The seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) registered 45.9 points in April, just 0.3 points below the reading in March. This is the fourth consecutive