Unconventional Economist


Victoria plunged into 6th lockdown

According to The Age, Victoria will head into its 6th lockdown from 8pm tonight only a week after its last ~2 week lockdown: Victoria will enter lockdown from this evening around 8pm for a period of about a week @theage Cabinet meeting now to finalise detailshttps://t.co/n2NH2kmXaU — Paul Sakkal (@paulsakkal) August 5, 2021 According to


ALP opens big poll lead over Coalition

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is enjoying its biggest two-party preferred polling lead over the Coalition since the January 2020 bushfires, according to Roy Morgan Research: ALP support has increased to 53.5% (up 1% point since mid-July) cf. L-NP on 46.5% (down 1% points) on a two-party preferred basis after Sydney’s month-long lockdown was extended


New Victorian COVID cluster emerges

Just a day after Victoria declared a ‘donut day’ of zero locally acquired COVID infections, a new cluster has emerged and six new locally acquired cases have been recorded: Reported yesterday: 6 new local cases and no new cases acquired overseas. – 17,229 vaccine doses were administered – 27,279 test results were received More later:


Mortgages point to softer property prices

On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data on new finance commitments, which registered the first decline in mortgages for nine months: As regular readers know, the growth in new mortgage commitments has historically been correlated very strongly with dwelling value growth. The reason is straightforward: the overwhelming majority of buyers borrow to


Links 5 August 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Let us regulate ‘wild west’ of cryptocurrency, SEC chair urges – The Guardian The Great Exodus From China Continues — The Future of Bitcoin Mining Lies in North America. – In Bitcoin We Trust Cryptocurrency Users Reach an Unprecedented Number – Forex Review Global Supply Chain will Flip the


What’s the point of another housing inquiry?

Fairfax’s senior economics writer, Jessica Irvine, wants another housing affordability inquiry chaired by former Treasury secretary Ken Henry: [We need] a high-level Treasury review, of the ilk of the Ken Henry tax review… So, I texted Henry to see if he’s up for it. He replied: “Jess. Sure. I’d chair such a review. The question


Inflation expectations increasing, but no rate rise coming

Roy Morgan has released its Inflation Expectations report for July, which increased to 4.1% – the highest reading since October 2019: In July 2021 Australians expected inflation of 4.1% annually over the next two years, up 0.1% and the highest Inflation Expectations for nearly two years since October 2019. Inflation Expectations are now up 0.9%


Retail sales positive for Q2 GDP

The ABS has released retail sales data for June, which fell 1.8% over the month to be 2.9% higher year-on-year: The decline in retail sales in June was fairly broad-based with only South Australia and the ACT recording growth: All sub categories other than food retailing also registered falls: However, quarterly retail volumes rose 0.8%


Property listings rebounded in July

SQM Research has released its stock on market report for July, which recorded a 1.1% rise in for sale listings nationally, with all markets except Sydney and Melbourne recording increases: However, over the year listings were down a whopping 23.6%, exposing a very tight market. Interestingly, both the number of new listings (<30 days old)


QLD records another 16 local COVID cases

QLD Health has reported another 16 locally acquired COVID cases – the same number as yesterday’s: Of today’s cases, four are linked to Ironside State School in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia, including one teacher. Two cases are linked to Indooroopilly State High School, one to Brisbane Boys Grammar and nine are close contacts


Aussies ditch Sydney and Melbourne for QLD

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released data showing that thousands more Australians have ditched Sydney and Melbourne and moved to Queensland. As shown in the next table, 8,169 residents left Sydney and 8,273 residents left Melbourne over the March quarter. By contrast, Brisbane gained 3,274 residents from the rest of Australia: The next


Face facts, international education is a pure immigration play

For years we have argued that Australia’s international education industry is really an immigration play, whereby migrants effectively purchase access to work and live in Australia by studying at an Australian institution. The immigration play has been developed jointly by the federal government and education industry via: The federal government offering the most generous work


Links 4 August 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Transitory inflation could mean higher prices for years, not months, and Powell’s stance could complicate his future as Fed chief, Mohamed El-Erian says – Business Insider How the Great Forgiving of Debt Will Save Us From Ourselves – Carbon Radio Oil prices fall on worries over China economy and


Labor: Pay Aussies $300 to get vaccinated

Labor leader Anthony Albanese believes the federal government should give all people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December a one-off payment of $300. Albanese says that if all eligible people got vaccinated and spent the $300 payment, it would inject as much as $6 billion into the economy. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham rejects



Australia’s last census (2016) was associated with great controversy stemming from its “digital-first” strategy, whereby the majority of Australians would do the census online for the first time. Then a denial of service (DOS) attack occurred on census night, resulting in the online questionnaire platform shutting down and remaining offline for nearly two days. This


Frydenrort quashes Treasury demand for RortKeeper inquiry

This morning I attacked the Morrison Government for seeking repayments from households of excess pandemic welfare payments and childcare subsidies while refusing to pursue companies that received billions of dollars worth of excess JobKeeper subsidies. The AFR’s John Kehoe reports that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has refused to act on “imperative” Treasury advice recommending an independent