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Is retail a buy?

Myer’s Bernie Brooks is in dour mood again today. From the SMH: The current economic conditions are a “tale of woe” and the worst he has ever seen, Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes says. Speaking today at a business lunch in Melbourne, Mr Brookes said the easy moves of cutting costs have gone and that


Job loss expectations jump

From Westpac and the Melbourne Institute comes the unsurprising result that consumer expectations for inflation have tanked in June and expectations for job losses are reaching some pretty alarming levels, completely ignoring happy ABS figures employment figures. Inflation expectations moderate & unemployment expectations deteriorate, adding to the case for additional interest rate cuts The Melbourne Institute


Victoria deleverages

By Leith van Onselen Last Friday, Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE) released ransfer and mortgage data for the month of May, which showed continued weakness in the number of housing transfers and finance commitments. First, below is a chart showing the rolling annual number of housing transfers from May 2003 to May 2012:


Bundesbank confesses plan to poach Australian industry

Find below a comment masquerading as a story from The Australian celebrating a Bundesbank plan to help German firms poach Australian industrial capacity (the crossed out parts are The Oz and the bold is what should have been written). GERMANY’S Bundesbank, one of the world’s most powerful central banks, is considering adding Australian dollar assets


The crisis shifts to Italy

As we head towards Greece’s weekend election, rumoured to be celebrated by the locals by moving ever larger sums of money elsewhere,  the Eurozone appears to be seriously straining under the constant pressure of its ongoing crisis. I have long felt that Italy would be the limit for the monetary union, most notable for its


Productivity now!

You will no doubt have noticed the pounding chorus of  “productivity now” emanating from the government’s economic pow wow today. Productivity is vital, absolutely so. Wikipedia describes it thus: Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs). The measure of productivity


Mineral exploration explodes in WA

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data nd it’s boom boom time in the resources sector! Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration hit an all-time high of $2,016 million in the December half, with petroleum exploration expenditure also rising to $1,677 million; although it remains well below


NSW moves to stimulate housing

The Reserve Bank may be happy to watch housing burn but right on cue government intervenes to ensure the dream lives on. The chosen weapon? Grants! From the AFR: The centrepiece of the O’Farrell government’s budget, delivered on Tuesday, is a package to encourage new housing developments, including a $5000 “New Home Grant” for all non-first


Not different, lucky

There’s still plenty of soul searching going on amongst economists and economic commentators today about last week’s strong Australian macro economic data. Ross Gittins spends some time agonising over economic strength before suggesting we all throw in the towel. Given Gittins’ wholeheartedly abandoned his line that we were in a boom after the previous quarter’s


Are we a banana republic?

From the AFR this morning comes an allegation from the boss of Glencore that Australia’s sovereign risk profile has deteriorated: “We have spent a long time on roadshows [with investors] and one of the biggest questions on the roadshows was: ‘Glencore you are in difficult, risky countries. You’ve got a vast amount of assets in


Australian dollar rally and reversal

Ben Bernanke stole the punch bowl for commodities and commodity currencies last night, which had rallied on the back of the Chniese rate cut and freeing up of deposit and lending rate controls. But with his usual equanimity, the Fed Chairman simply didn’t want to play ball and add more stimulus and markets were not happy


Employment in detail

By Leith van Onselen As reported by Houses and Holes earlier today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released labour force data for the month of May, which revealed more strong jobs growth. In seasonally adjusted terms, total employment increased 38,900 (0.3%) to 11,537,900. Full-time employment increased 46,100 (0.6%) to 8,107,900 and part-time employment


A psychological slowdown

Find below another interesting note from the ANZ commodities team about a recent trip to China. It has some good texture and decent analysis around short term developments around stimulus, even if it fails to address the now widely accepted conundrum that China faces vis-a-vis the shelf life of its fixed asset investment model. ANZ


GDP’s soft underbelly

By Leith van Onselen Mark the Graph and Stephen Koukoulas yesterday provided some great insights into the main reason why Australia’s March quarter GDP print of 1.3% growth was so strong: because inflation, as measured by the GDP Implicit Price Deflator, fell sharply over the quarter. To highlight the effect of the Implicit Price Deflator


A weather change in China

Courtesy of Also Spracht Analyst. Yesterday I talked about the pick-up in lending in the final week of May in the big four Chinese banks, which is a usual occurrence in China. Today, we are hearing the numbers for all banks and the number is much higher than expectations. Sina is reporting that new loans from all


GDP explodes

Well, how about that! National Accounts for the March quarter are out and BOOM! A quarter on quarter increase of 1.3%. An annual increase of 4.3%. Now, the annual increase does overstate things to an extent, given it contains the rebound quarter from last year’s floods. But even so, if you cut a half point


Bill Evans: more cuts to come

Australia’s best bank economist dissects the Statement and sees plenty more cuts in the pipeline. I agree. As expected by Westpac the Reserve Bank Board lowered the cash rate by 25bps to 3.5%. Relative to the statement in May there has been a series of observations around the world economy and the domestic economy that


Bets are off in Macau

On top of the already poor macro data from China that everyone watches, alternative indirect gauges of the Chinese economy, like electricity output, are clearly showing that the Chinese economy is close to hard landing, if not already in one. I have previously mentioned another indirect gauge: Macau gaming revenue.  The latest data shows that Macau


Europe plunges towards recession

While it was the US NFP data that really beat up the markets over the weekend, and there was some market supportive news from Ireland with a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum,  Europe was still able to deliver a king hit of its own with the latest European manufacturing PMI data that clearly showed contagion


Trading Week

So where have the markets gone this week? Past the daily noise and headlines, this weekly chart heavy post will examine the major markets (debt, commodities and currencies) with the Australian investor in mind. T’was a wild night on risk markets last night, with a disappointing set of macro data coming out, which validated Houses