Tony Abbott promises a lamington for all

Tony Abbott this afternoon delivered the first of his major campaign speeches at the National Press Club (which is now available thankfully). The speech is a stark contrast to that of Gillard yesterday. It underlines why Tony Abbott is at once a powerful and limited politician. The style of the speech is far less polished

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NAB property insider survey eases up

Adding to today’s property melange, NAB’s quarterly property professionals survey is out today and shows a small rise in expectations for price growth: NAB’s Residential Property Index rose to +8 in Q4’12 (+4 in Q3’12). WA (+41) the stand-out state, with Victoria (-15) and SA/NT (-20) negative. National index to climb to +49 points by Q4’13


Housing credit growth weakened in December

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has just released the private sector credit aggregates, which registered an increase in total credit growth in the month of December, but the fourth lowest monthly housing credit growth in the series’ 35-year history and the lowest annual mortgage growth ever recorded: Total credit provided


HIA December New Home Sales bounce

At last we are seeing some effect from the considerable stimulus thrown at housing in the past year. New home sales had a strong bounce in December from suppressed levels, up 6.2%: Moreover, the internals are good for employment and growth, with detached houses participating for the first time: In the month of December 2012


US house prices lift. But for how long?

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week, the 20-city Case-Shiller house price index was released for the month of November 2012, which revealed a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% rise in values and a 5.6% increase over the year (see next chart). The annual rise in home values was the biggest since January 2008, and combined with the


Macro Morning: US shrinkage

The release of the FOMC Statement this morning was much anticipated and it went to script with the Fed reiterating its commitment to doing what it can to revive the economy through its bond buying program and super low rates. The Fed also highlighted once again that the economy: likely to warrant exceptionally low levels


Volunteering to be Europe

Stephen Bartholomeusz of BS wrote late yesterday that: While it will be overshadowed by Julia Gillard’s nomination of the date for the next federal election, her comments on the Australian dollar occupied a meaningful slab of her address to the National Press Club today, indicating that the continuing strength of the currency is a front-of-mind


Deloitte: Mining boom peak in sight

From AAP: Deloitte Access Economics expects the mega-resources investment projects that have been a major driver of economic growth in recent years will likely peak in late 2013. In its latest Investment Monitor released on Thursday, partner David Rumbens says the top 10 planned projects worth $126 billion are due to get the final nod


Gillard is betting on economic weakness

The AFR’s Andrew Clarke today argues that Gillard is betting the next election on an economic rebound: Drawing inspiration from these electoral boilovers, the Gillard inner circle of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan, and political strategist John McTernan, formulated Labor’s election strategy over the Christmas break. To summarise, the ALP’s


APM: House prices lifted in December quarter

By Leith van Onselen Australian Property Monitors (APM) today released their December 2012 home price results, which registered a solid 1.9%/1.6% (houses/units) rise in values over the quarter and 2.1%/2.4% growth over the year (see below tables). Hobart, Darwin and Perth recorded the highest house price growth over the quarter, with values jumping by 4.7%,


Links 31 January 2013

Here’s a list of things Reynard read over night. Global Macro: Central banks walk inflation’s razor edge – Financial Times North America: Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement – Federal Reserve The Fed holds – FT Alphaville Fed Says That growth in Economic Activity Fell in Recent Months – Business Insider  Comments on Q4 GDP and


Morgan poll: Parties neck and neck

Coincidentally from Roy Morgan this afternoon: In late January support for the L-NP is 50.5% (down 1.5% since January 5/6 & 12/13, 2013) cf. ALP 49.5% (up 1.5%) on a two-party preferred basis according to the latest face-to-face Morgan Poll conducted over the last two weekends January  19/20 & 26/27, 2013. The L-NP primary vote


Comparing Australian and US housing

Please find below an interesting article by Philip Soos questioning the mainstream view that Australian housing values are built upon solid foundations. Philip is a Masters research student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University. As mainstream opinion would have it, Australia’s housing prices are solidly based upon fundamental valuations or intrinsic


Gillard strikes the winning tone

So, they’re off. The election is on and we’re in for the longest bloody campaign anyone can remember. Today Prime Minister Gillard started well. Her speech at the National Press Club, effectively a campaign launch speech, struck the very tone I’ve been begging someone to lead with, overturning her Treasurer’s two-bit optimism: Despite low inflation


Federal election set for September 14

From the AFR: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the federal election will be held on September 14, 2013 in a move she says is designed to give voters certainty and shift the focus from politics to policy. A good move. Gives her high moral ground on the policy debate and inhibits Lord Kevin in-so-far-as


DEEWR Job Vacancy Index falls go on

The DEEWR Job Vacancy Index for January (covering December) is out and shows no abatement in job ad losses down 2.8% for the month and 24.8% over the year: There was a glimmer of hope in the falls being less widespread with four industry groups adding job ads, but all major states are still falling:


Fearful Symmetry sees a slow Indian recovery

Turning to activity quickly, fearful symmetry notes that the September quarter balance of payments depicted a broad based inflow of capital, with FDI, portfolio and lending flows all contributing to deficit financing. That resulted in a modest increase in FX reserves despite the record highs for the deficit in both nominal terms and as a share of GDP. Monthly data


Spain bucks the happiness trend

Market and real economic divergence continues apace in the European periphery and, much like Italy, Spain is again showing worrying signs that further fiscal tightening is creating far more severe negative consequences than “expected”. The deterioration in the economy is once again leading to a re-assessment of targets: European Union budget enforcer Olli Rehn signaled


Put on some puts

Stocks around the world have been enjoying what is a stealth rally over the past few months as the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet has once again done its work in driving cash into stocks. But with this stock rally has come an improving economic performance in the US which has 10 year US


Macro Morning: Stocks up again

Stocks were higher again in the US and Europe with US stocks in particular benefitting from better than expected reports by Pfizer and oil refiner Valero combined with the strong rise in the Case Shiller home price index of 5.5% more than offsetting the very weak consumer confidence data for January which fell to 58.6 from


RBNZ considers macroprudential tools

While Australia spends its time ringing its hands about over-valued house prices, the Kiwis are moving ahead with a number of debates on how to fix things. As the Unconventional Economist has reported, NZ is currently debating supply-side reforms and is also advanced in its discussion of demand management as well. From Banking Day: The


High currency claims another victim

By Leith van Onselen In early-2011, the New Zealand Savings Working Group (SWG) released a report, which explained the imbalances and damage created within the New Zealand economy by the credit/consumption binge of the 2000s: New Zealand’s growth in the period leading up to the GFC (2002 to 2008) was associated with rapid credit expansion,


Victorian housing transfers hit decade low

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this year, I posted preliminary data from the Real Estate Industry of Victoria (REIV) showing that the overall number of home sales in Metropolitan Melbourne in calendar year 2012 (69,000) was nearly -3,000 less than 2011 and the lowest volume of sales since 1996, when 67,904 homes were sold across