Europe’s periphery slumps further

One my major themes for the European periphery over the last few months is that although the ECB’s 3-yr LTRO operations may well impress the broader markets, it will do nothing for the real economies of southern Europe. In fact, my base case is that the LTRO combined with austerity will lead to a zombification

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Underemployment static (six months ago)

After the ABS employment figure from last month I discussed the notion that Australia had taken on the an informal version of the German kurtzarbeit labour system via labour hoarding. That is, when economic weakness strikes businesses reduce hours rather than workers. Today, the ABS released its annual Underemployment Survey which runs up to the September


The global zombie shuffles on

My theory for global growth this year is that it will slow from last year and any acceleration will be difficult and halting. That’s because Europe has set course for perpetual recession via austerity and a credit crunch, the US looks headed for a slowdown on lousy income growth and China is going to have


Swan bashes the billionaires

Like Kevin Rudd before him, Wayne Swan has penned his defining missive in The Monthly magazine. It is a long essay and much of it is dedicated to establishing a context for Western societies , especially the US, to debate the rise of elite wealth and the decline of the middle class. You can read


Market Morning

Risk is back! Or is it? Markets seemed to have liked the good news and shook off the bad news from the data flow last night (like most financial economists who report the former with glee and discard the latter). In the European session, markets were buoyed by a round of PMI manufacturing data and


R.P.Data’s missing January

Given that RPData gave the housing market a little shock yesterday with the launch of their new daily index it appears that there is no data for January to report. In fact it appears to have received barely a passing mention in most media reports: Melbourne led a rebound in capital city dwelling prices in February,


The dividends are coming

Earnings season is over for the ASX200. I’m glad because its been a hectic month of reporting and canvassing what’s important and what’s not. Next week I’ll be reporting on the overview, with some interesting sector results and overall picture of where the market is headed. And its time to update my Australian Share Market


Correction: AFG was not so hot

Right…straight out I’m a dunce , and a huge apology all round.  Yesterday I made a pretty serious error while transposing data from the AFG reports to the spreadsheet I use to generate my charts. In doing so I mixed February’s data for Victoria and Queensland which produced results which were … well completely incorrect.


Chart of the Day: EU youth unemployment

This is a shocking chart, it came up on Twitter last night, so I had to share it: It’s from Scotty Barber at Reuters, showing youth unemployment (under 25 year olds) from before, during and “after” the GFC. What immediately springs to mind – apart from the near 50% rates in Spain and Greece, is


The day the earth stood still

Data is the life blood of any economic watcher. Without it we are naked, bereft of meaning. But like life, some days it’s a torrent! Last night I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, exhausted from an extraordinary day of economic data that shook up many presumptions but ultimately left my overall sense of


Dynamics of US slowdown

So, my thesis of a US mini-cycle culminating in slowing growth is firming up. Last night we had a raft of important data that showed the current bounce is on thin ice. First up was the ISM manufacturing index slowed 2.1 points to 52.4 in February in defiance of regional indexes: The slowing is visible


China’s official PMI improves, but…

China’s official PMI (as opposed to the HSBC Flash version) increased in February. The headline PMI rose from 50.5 to 51.0, better than the expected 50.7. Most individual components increased in February.  New Orders increased from 50.4 to 51.0, imports increased from 46.9 to 50.8 and new exports orders increased from 48.9 to 51.1 while


March 2nd Links

Markets: Rocket: energies, Brent crude especially (and in Euro) Up:  Stocks, CRB, gold Flat: USD, Treasuries, euro, Aussie, ore Down:  grains 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


Trading Day – Ides of March

Another eventful day on the local Aussie market, as it slumped on the open following the moves on overnight markets, recovered slightly – and absorbed the good Chinese manufacturing PMI number – before selling off coming into the close, down 1% or 42 points to 4255 points, well below the long running resistance level at


Commodities up in January

The RBA released its monthly Commodity Price Index this afternoon and the “once in a century boom” continues: Preliminary estimates for February indicate that the index rose by 1 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 1 per cent in January (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in February were increases in


Did falling LVRs drive a mortgage surge?

Below is a report produced by interest rate aggregator, Ratecity.com.au. Is this where the February mortgage surge came from? More doors open to potential home owners in 2012 69% of home loans offering LVR 95% and higher Lowest number of home buyers in over a decade But borrowers need to be careful: bigger mortgage means


Capex disappoints

The ABS quarterly capex report was out today and disappointed on current spend as well as expected spend outside of mining. First, the details from the quarter past: Trend estimates(a) Total new capital expenditure 38 737 5.9 32.3 Buildings and structures 22 692 8.1 47.4 Equipment, plant and machinery 15 916 2.1 14.7 Seasonally adjusted(a)


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism Another Goldman Tech Analyst Is Being Investigated Over Insider Trading – david loeb, speaks chinese. any come across him? Taiwan Officer Arrested in Latest China Spy Case – China Real Time Report – WSJ – US should (does?) assume that all classified weapons and systems will end up in PRC hands and that the


Harvey Norman on sale

Harvey Norman came in with a bit of a shock result, with sales for the first half down 6.3%; and second quarter sales down 8%. A big fall. There was a  2.4% drop in net profit after tax to $130.8m, which was aided by a more favourable tax rate of 20%, down from 32%. Pre-tax profit fell by 18%.


Building approvals rise in January

The shock and awe continues, with building approval numbers up nationally, mainly thanks to NSW. Private sector house approvals fell 0.1% (i.e flat) overall, and residential building values only rose 1.1% for the month: ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 0.9% in January 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a


House prices by state

Above, find the house price movements for February. There are a few eye-popping numbers, not least being Melbourne up 1.84% on the month and Perth down 1.8%. It’s possible to construct a favourable narrative for Sydney given the recent FHB activity, but some of these others look in need of smoothing. I know these are February


Manufacturing expansion eases

Not that it was big to begin with but at least we’re still positive: Here’s the details: Manufacturing activity increased again in February, albeit at a slightly slower pace than a month ago. The seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group-PwC Australian PMI® fell 0.3 points to 51.3. (Readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity,with the


House prices rise in February

From BS: Home prices in capital cities rose in February, offsetting a weaker period in January, according to a leading survey. The RP Data-Rismark hedonic home value index showed capital city house prices rose 0.8 per cent in February. The result follows a fall in values of one per cent in January. RP Data-Rismark have


Gina goes off message

Last night, NewYork’s favourite business website, Business Insider, picked up an Australian story that has not gotten that much press here. It was Gina Rinehart’s poem inscribed upon the very earth in the Pilbara: Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, just penned a political poem — and it’s hilarious. Her prose, engraved on a plaque attached to


Market Morning

Or should that be Market Mourning? In the European session, markets were buoyed by Round 2 of the LTRO (long term refinancing operation) by the ECB (European Central Bank), but were then cut down by “good” news from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stating no milkie wilkie’s (QE or Quantitative Easing – asset purchases/swaps)


Lock in some profits

I’m flat out at the moment doing some non blogging, but I thought I’d do a quick update this morning because the confluence over night of the ECB’s massive LTRO operation, and Bernanke’s pull back from further stimulus, converged to knock the bulls of their perch a little. This is really important, because for mine what we have



Overnight the ECB offered its next round of its uncapped long term refinancing operations, or 3-year LTRO: As you can see from the chart above, last night’s operation was for €529.53bn, which was larger than the €489.19bn allocated in stage I. As with the first operation, the headline number hides quite a bit of detail because


MB caption poll

Over the weekend we  did a bit of crowd surfing and put out a call to the MacroBusiness community for a byline to adorn some future MacroBusiness merchandise.  In response we received an avalanche of responses. So it turns out you lot are creative as well as smart. After a fair bit of United Nation style negotiating


QEase offers up gold

Find below Fed Chairman Ben Benanke’s semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony to Congress. The two new points that I can discern, are an increased focus on the inflationary effects of the current spike in oil, which is seen as temporary, and the highlighting of recent good employment numbers, though ongoing concern is obvious. The Fed remains concerned


Abbott should look at QLD Libs

There’s actually some sense emanating from a political candidate at the moment. It’s certainly not at the Federal level. But in the Queensland election, the Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman is making noises not too far from reasonable. The AFR has an exclusive interview with Newman in which he outlines his economic plan: As