Three ugly options for manufacturing

The AFR editorial takes the high hand to the PM today over manufacturing subsidies: Asked if there was an obligation on the car industry to become efficient so that it would not need subsidies in the future, Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared yesterday that the media completely misunderstood what the government was doing. But at

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Chinese electricity consumption smacked?

China Securities Journal yesterday reported that China’s electricity output may have dropped 7.5% in January, citing sources close to the China Electricity Council. It is well known that the electricity output/consumption of China is a good proxy for economic activity.  Particularly for people who are skeptical about the Chinese statistics numbers, power output is an alternative


The cautious consumer is an old friend

RP Data’s latest Property Pulse report contained an interesting article entitled Will consumers start spending in 2012?, which contains some fascinating charts and analysis on Australia’s changed spending habits. In May last year, I wrote an article, The Housing-Retail Link, which discussed the strong correlation between rising (falling) house prices and (increasing) decreasing retail spending, and argued


The banks’ earnings vice

Apart from showing that I have a head for radio and a voice for print, Tuesday night’s interview on the ABC’s The Business television program attempted to convey my belief that Australia’s banks are being squeezed by higher funding costs, which are adversely affecting their margins on new lending, and risks reducing the availability of


February 9 links: Past the peak

Markets: Down: ore, metals, gold,  Flat: grains, Aussie, euro, CRB, energies, Treasuries Down:  $US Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year


Trading Day

A good solid day on Asian markets, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finishing up 0.4% or 16 points to 4290 points, almost hitting the crucial 4300 point level earlier in the session, and slowly developing into a medium term trend: Japan’s Nikkei 225 finsihed up 1% or 98 points to 9015, breaking through the 9000 point


The Big Western Australian

The Big Australian BHP-Billiton (BHP) announced their interim or half year results to the market this morning. Given that the top four miners and top four banks, by their dominance and size in the index (and unfortunately, the economy), these result have higher than normal importance. You may have heard about it, since it was


Geelong gets “adjusted”

From the SMH: About 600 workers at Alcoa’s aluminium smelter in Geelong face an uncertain future after the company announced this morning it was reviewing the plant’s viability, blaming metal prices, rising costs and the soaring dollar. In a statement posted on the company’s website, Alcoa Australia managing director Alan Cransberg stressed the review had


Charting the RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released its monthly Chart Pack – “a set of graphs that summarise macroeconomic and financial market trends”. It’s quite a big compilation, so let’s have a closer look at a select few interesting and relevant charts for MacroBusiness readers. World Economy First, what will likely be our future


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism Why China’s housing market will slow, not collapse – The Term Sheet: Fortune’s deals blog Term Sheet – 笑蜀:警惕“汉奸评选”这种下三滥的政治杀戮_评论_环球网 – 摘要:所谓十大汉奸评选,只能用下三滥来形容。不要任何规则、不要任何底线、不惜一切代价、怎样耸动怎样整的做法将会让整个社会的精神氛围更加走向极端,更加走向仇恨与对抗。野蛮是它最大的恶。这最大的恶如果不能遏制,它就会毒化整个政治市场,把本来应该是文明的政治行销变成政治传销,把本来应该是阳光的政治竞争变成政治杀戮。而这,才是我们最应该警惕的。 ‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World – NYTimes.com– “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to a


Unimpressed with NAB

  The general sentiment amongst brokers is that NAB carries the highest risk of the four major banks, most notably because of the ill fated investment into Britain. Right on cue, NAB’s UK banks did disappoint, but overall the performance was held to have enough positives to at least sustain neutral recommendations. With a prospective


Earnings reports roundup

Yesterday we saw Bradken (BKN) and Transurban (TCL) report their interim results to the market, alongside Cochlear (COH) covered earlier here. Here’s a round up of their results: Bradken Bradken (BKN) is a manufacturing and distribution company providing consumable products for the mining, rail and energy sectors A big increase in revenue, up almost 30%,


Market Morning

Another shaky session on equity markets overnight, as Greece debt talks were postponed again, German industrial production numbers were less than exciting, but the whole risk edifice was buoyed late in the evening by a rise in US consumer credit for December. In detail: The UK FTSE finished flat again, down 2 points to 5890,


Housing stock on market falls

The latest SQM research newsletter came out yesterday and as usual it contains some interesting data and predictions: Figures released this week by SQM Research reveal that residential sales listings decreased during the month of January 2012, coming to a national total of 368,510. This is the second consecutive monthly decrease in sales stock, coming


Is China rebalancing?

Barclay Capital’s Yiping Huang wrote a report last month, saying that he thinks that Chinese consumption is being under reported, so the contribution of consumption towards the overall GDP has been understated. As always, there is skepticism surrounding the quality of Chinese statistics. With respect to the consumption data, Yiping Huang argues that the weighted


Europe repackages austerity

So here we are on the eve of yet another of the perpetual Greek D-Days. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. If it hadn’t been going on for so long with the outcome so obvious. Readers who followed me over from my old blog would know I have been talking about the


Righto ANZ, time to man-up

So, the RBA has kicked the banks from under its skirts. There’ll be no easy ‘clipping the ticket’ as the rate cut sidles casually by. If the banks are as good as their word then they need to raise interest rates to offset rising funding costs. All four CEOs, and Chairmen as well, have told


February 8 links: Rates lunacy

Markets: Up: ore, Treasuries, metals, gold, euro, CRB, energies Flat: grains, Aussie Down:  US Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year


Trading Day

A very mixed day on Asian markets, and after the RBA stunned the economic press (including us here at MacroBusiness!) with a hold on interest rates, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished down over 0.5% or 21 points to 4274 points, after rising above the crucial 4300 point level earlier in the session. Japan’s Nikkei 225


Hawks 1, economy 0

So, the hawks, whomever they may be, have won the day at the RBA. Let’s try the statement for sense: Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent. Information becoming available since the December meeting confirms that economic


Bogan exodus drives tourism woes

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for December, which caps off a record year for outbound international travel. In seasonally adjusted terms, short-term resident departures rose by 0.9% in December, whereas short-term visitor arrivals rose by only 0.1%. In the 12 months to December, depatures increased


Chart of the Day: Great Expectations

With reporting season underway, today’s chart comes from a recent Credit Suisse report, highlighting previous share market reactions to the reporting season: The report mentions that the consensus 4% growth may be setting up for “disappointment” going into the season, with growth expectations possibly downgraded due to the macro environment and global growth risks over


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: Wealth gap survey to be published|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn – Urban and rural income surveys will be standardized amid plans to publish an internationally accepted measure of how wealth is distributed, a leading statistician said. “The nationwide survey, which will provide basic data for China’s Gini coefficient calculation, will cover about 140,000 urban and rural households,


Screw loose in the millionaire’s factory

Macquarie Group (MQG) stunned the market – but not a few savvy observers – with a dramatic profit downgrade this morning in its operational briefing. In opposition to the perma-bull institutional mood surrounding world markets, the Millionaire Factory said its 2012 profit would be 25% lower than 2011’s figure. This equates to a possible $717


Perpetual disappointment

Perpetual has sacked its CEO, creating even more uncertainty about the stock. Morningstar has described the announcement as a “total surprise” saying that the board’s anxiety “shines a new light on the depth of PPT’s problems”. One can only agree that the high-level strategic questions remain unanswered. After an underwhelming strategy last year there will be


NAB feels the earnings vice

Amidst the earnings season, National Australia Bank (NAB) provided the market with a quarterly trading update with a good headline result. But the devil is always in the detail and the macro picture. First, the headline $1.4 billion in cash earnings was up 7% on the same period last year of $1.3 billion. Good news


Cochlear bucks the buck

Healthcare leader Cochlear (COH) announced its first half (HY) earnings result to the market today, with a net-loss of $20.4 million, mainly due to the costs of its recent recall of its headline product, covered here at MacroBusiness. Cochlear actually surprised to the upside, with consensus forecast earnings before recall costs of $76 million expected,


Market Morning

A shaky session on equity markets overnight, as ructions over Greece debt talks continued and impatience hounds the markets and the masters of Europe. Most markets were flat or down slightly, here in detail: The UK FTSE finished weakly down 8 points or 0.1% to 5892 points, still well above its resistance level at 5700


Construction under the pump, apparently

The AIG PCI is out this morning and shows more weakness head for dwelling construction: The national construction industry declined again in January amid further falls in activity and new orders. ■ The Australian Industry Group Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) in conjunction with the Housing Industry Association decreased by 1.2 points to 39.8 in January. This


Politico-housing complex reaps the whirlwind

I wonder if it’s entered the collective heads of those involved in the current furor over banks and interest rates – bankers, government, media – that the present debacle is the direct result of the failure to appropriately redefine the Australian financial system in the post-GFC world? Probably not. What do I mean? Well, today’s