Australia the most expensive place for a date

By Leith van Onselen Following on from a range of ‘cost of living’ studies showing Australia to be amongst the world’s most expensive places to reside, Deutsche Bank has released the below index, which could interest some of MacroBusiness’ younger and more cash-strapped readers. Using a price parity calculation, Deutsche Bank has created the “cheap

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Elvis spotted in the Pilbara

From the AFR: The federal budget will receive little benefit from the mining tax for years to come, says Fortescue Metals Group, which adds it is unlikely to pay the tax over the next half decade. The revelation came at Senate committee hearings into the troubled Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), which so far has


Pettis: China not headed for disaster

By Leith van Onselen Above is an extract of a video interview on the Daily Ticker with Michael Pettis, professor of finance at Peking University in Beijing, talking about the outlook for the Chinese economy. In the interview, Professor Pettis argues that China’s economy is neither “averting a disaster or heading for one“. Rather, China


The upsides of financial crisis in China

Cross-posted from The Conversation In recent months, talk of an emerging crisis in China’s financial sector has been getting louder. A few weeks ago such chatter reached a crescendo, at least in terms of a narrative, when two Nomura economists argued that China was looking increasingly like the US on the eve of the sub-prime


RBNZ: fix housing supply & temper credit

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) yesterday gave a speech (below) entitled Perspectives on housing, which provided a useful overview of some of the factors driving New Zealand’s housing market and monetary/prudential policy. Below are some key extracts. On housing and the New Zealand economy: The RBNZ notes that New


Super changes will hit saving strategies

Reporting on the $100K limit across multiple funds, pain and no gain for Industry Funds. The Government proposal to tax superannuation pensions on income over $100,000 seems simple and not too complicated until you look in to it in more detail as the administrators are starting to do. How will the government legislate so that


Links 9 April 2013

Global Macro/Markets: Soros says gold’s safe haven status is “destroyed” – Market Oracle BitCult – FT Alphaville Fed warned to rein in QE – Financial Times Is the recovery dying? – Econbrowser North America: Structural Employment Problems – The Big Picture Productivity, “reindustrialisation” and the US profit share – FT Alphaville Weak Jobs Report Is


ASX at the close

After last week’s drama, things should settle down a bit now, with the calendar looking a lot less frantic. That being said, US Q1 earnings season kicks off this week, and while Alcoa starts things off officially today, JP Morgan and Citigroup will certainly demand greater attention later in the week. The weak headline print


Central banks aim to seize Australian production

The FT has story that should send a shiver down the spine: Central bankers are putting cash into riskier assets and exotic currencies to compensate for ultra-low returns on US Treasuries, according to a poll of officials responsible for almost $7tn in reserves. The world’s central bankers together manage reserves worth $10.9tn, most of which is


Australia the safest for mining investment

Elite mining consultants, Behre Dolbear Group, have release their annual list of the best and worst countries for mining investment. They use the following crtieria: The 25 countries considered in this year’s survey are ranked based on 7 criteria: the country’s economic system the country’s political system the degree of social issues affecting mining in the


Master builders’ sentiment shows promise

By Leith van Onselen The Master Builders Association (MBA) has released its Builder Sentiment Survey for the March quarter of 2013, which revealed an improvement in sentiment over the medium-term, but ongoing subdued levels of activity in the short-term: Pick up in builders’ expectations for industry The index measuring expectations for building industry activity picked


ANZ job ads fall in March

More mediocre data today with the release of ANZ job ads: Job advertisements declined 1.5% m/m in March after rising by 3.0% m/m in February. Despite the fall in March, the level of job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers is higher than at the end of last year. In trend terms, job advertising


Australian property auction clearances ease

By Leith van Onselen The auction clearance rate in Australia’s biggest auction market – Melbourne – recorded a reasonable result over the weekend, with 65% of the 443 auctions reported to the REIV selling, with only 10 auctions listed as “no result” (see below table). The result compares to the 68% provisional clearance rate rate


Bird flu resurfaces in China

Here’s something to watch and not just for the value your portfolio. Over the weekend Bloomberg reported that: The new bird influenza that’s killed six people in eastern China has some of the genetic hallmarks of an easily transmissible virus, according to the scientist who showed how H5N1 avian flu could become airborne. The H7N9 strain, which


Australian property listings rise in March

By Leith van Onselen SQM Research has released Stock on Market data for the month of March, which revealed a 3.8% increase in listings nationally over the month but a -2.1% decrease over the year (see below table). From the media release: Sydney recorded the largest rise in listings; rising by 7.6% or 1,966 properties.


Performance of Construction Index (PCI) tanks

The AiG construction PMI for March is out (the PCI) and the news is poor. Following February’s good gains, the index has collapsed again, down 6.6 points to a thoroughly recessionary 39: The weakness is broad based but most obvious in engineering construction: Forward looking indicators like new orders and employment also fell across categories:


Construction materials companies under pressure

By Leith van Onselen In February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released construction materials volumes data for the December quarter of 2012, which showed continued weakness in the production of concrete blocks, clay bricks and roof tiles – materials typically used in housing construction – but ongoing strength in the consumption of cement and


Macro Morning: Wild yen

The jobs report in the US was an out and out shocker on Friday night printing at just 88,000 against expectations of an increase of 200,000. This data built on the weak ADP report and the unexpected up tick in Jobless Claims over the week which has dented the certainty with which many market pundits


Mid year global growth slump looms

Last week’s dour US data, with large falls in the ISM for manufacturing and services, as well as Friday’s big miss in employment is no surprise to me. Regular readers will know that I’ve been arguing for many months that the current round of hope for global growth is no more than the same Christmas


Another week of fumbling in the Eurozone

Firstly to Italy where there is still no outcome of the election. To add to the trouble it is supposedly up to the President of Italy to sort out the political mess but his seven year appointment will end on May 15 and now the same broken parliament is supposed to vote on a new


Bank West’s “catastrophic” expansion

The wild west of Australia’s pre-GFC banking expansion is on display today at Banking Day: HBOS Australia and Bankwest incurred lending losses over the four years to 2011 equal to more than one fifth of their loans, a review by a UK parliamentary committee into HBOS, the bank’s then owner, found. The UK committee released


How to fix the CLF

There’s been much recent discussion on MB and from contributors to this blog on the merits of the RBA’s conditional liquidity facility (“CLF”), as well as more broadly recently following a series of articles by Chris Joye at the AFR. I’d like to try and make clear the importance of the CLF and the interconnectedness