Latest posts


Joint Strike Fighter targets rent

From Crikey’s Bernard Keane comes a tale of Lockheed Martin entitlement in Australia’s quest to dominate SE Asian skies: The problem is, the F-35 program is not under control, even according to the US government. In September, thePentagon Inspector-General issued yet another in a long line of scathing reports about the program, having found over 700


Bassanese sees rate cuts!

According to David Bassanese: As a result, the RBA is likely to remain comfortable in retaining its neutral policy bias. Indeed, if the Australian dollar remains uncomfortably high and business confidence continues to wind back, the RBA remains well placed to even consider a return to an easing policy bias. To my mind, the RBA


Roy Morgan consumer confidence bounces

By Leith van Onselen The ANZ-Roy Morgan Research (RMR) consumer confidence index has been released for the week ended 20 April, which registered its first rise in four weeks, jumping 3.4 points (+3.0%) to be above its long-term average (113.0) but well below the highs reached after last year’s Federal Election: The improvement in the


PBOC: No change to “prudent policy bias”

From ForexLive: People’s Bank of China (PBOC)  will cut the deposit reserve requirement for rural financial institutions: 2% cut for rural commercial banks and a 0.5 percentage point cut for rural cooperatives Will take effect from Friday This takes the reserve requirement for rural commercial banks to 15%; rural cooperatives to 13% (compared to most


Australian dollar timbeeeer!

The Aussie is still falling now, down a cent on the day: This looks to me a pretty decent move in the making. After all, if there’s no inflation then there’s no expanded carry coming. On the downside, there are few serious supports before 92 cents: It would probably take more bad news or a


Bill Evans on the CPI and interest rates

Fresh from our Bill: This number will come as a positive surprise for the RBA. Recall that following the 0.9%qtr print for underlying inflation for the December quarter they raised their forecast for underlying inflation to 3%yr from 2.5%yr. That implied they expected a probable 0.8%-0.9% print for March quarter underlying inflation. The implication is


Bullhawks strut their stuff

From the Kouk: It would be a wild exaggeration to say that Australia has an inflation problem, but the March quarter CPI highlighted the fact that the strength of the domestic economy is spilling over into a somewhat uncomfortable acceleration in the inflation rate. While the March quarter inflation rates came in under market expectations


NSW wankers deserve higher gas prices

From the AFR: NSW households are set to be slugged with an increase of up to $225 a year on their gas bills as of July 1 as the start-up of LNG exports from Queensland places a squeeze on east coast supplies. The price hikes recommended by the state pricing regulator IPART on Wednesday are


Australian CPI in detail

By Leith van Onselen As noted briefly by Houses & Holes, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the March quarter 0f 2014, which registered a modest quarterly increase in prices, with the result also coming in well below economists’ expectations. According to the ABS, headline CPI


China Flash PMI remains weak

China’s April Flash PMI is out and contained no real surprises with still quite sluggish conditions: Flash China Manufacturing PMI™ at 48.3 in April (48.0 in March). Two-month high. Flash China Manufacturing Output Index at 48.0in April (47.2 in March). Two-month high. The internals are still weak: About as expected with a little lift in


Australian dollar smashed as CPI fizzles

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released March quarter inflation numbers and the bullhawks can flee back to their their befouled eyries with an undershoot on every measure, headline at 0.5% and 2.9% annual and trimmed mean at 0.5% and 2.6% annual: No rate hikes are coming. The dollar was smashed lower by a half


RBNZ slams the population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s (RBNZ) Michael Reddell has written an interesting paper questioning the merits of New Zealand’s high immigration program, which appears to have crowded-out (through higher interest rates and a high average real exchange rate) other productive investment, lowering living standards in the process: Over the last


ASX hits post-GFC high

The ASX200 is trading above 5500 points today for the first time since mid 2008. It’s daily chart look bullish: It weekly chart looks bullish: Pretty much everything is up today with the exception of iron ore miners. That situation is unsustainable I’m afraid!


No v-shaped recovery for DEEWR job vacancies

The Department of Employment and Education (DEEWR) has released its March job vacancies index and the news is pretty average, falling 2.6%: There is only stabilisation, no recovery: It’s broad based weakness by state: And occupation: Those expecting a  sharp jobs recovery are very likely going to be disappointed. Full report here.


Padbury’s mystery man revealed

From the ASX, Padbury Mining has confirmed that Roland Bleyer  is the mysterious private equity player behind the $6.4 billion deal to resuscitate the Oakajee iron ore project. Padbury has extended its trading halt. From The Oz recently: It might have been just another TV interview, save for the fact that a well-lubricated Willesee slurred his


Japanese currency war to go nuclear

From the AFR: Japan’s $1.26 trillion Government Pension and Investment Fund this week announced changes to its investment committee that would fast-track plans to shift money out of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) into equities and foreign bonds. …GPIF, which is roughly equal in value to Australia’s institutionally managed superannuation assets, holds more than half its


John Hewson: End the superannuation rort

By Leith van Onselen Former federal Liberal Party Leader, John Hewson, has written a well-argued piece in The AFR today, joining the chorus to wind-back superannuation concessions granted to high income earners: It’s worth reconsidering concessions granted for super: they’re as costly as the age pension ($44.8 billion compared to $44.9 billion in age pension), but


Daily iron ore price update (weak)

Sorry this is late today. Data issues. Here are the iron ore price charts for April 22, 2014:   Paper markets were weakish though rebar futures managed a small gain. Physical was weak too although the Baltic Dry capesize component finally climbed 1.5%. Nothing much to say today except prices look biased lower still.


It’s time to end pharmacy entitlements

By Leith van Onselen Following Janet Albrechtsen’s cracking article last week attacking Australia’s pharmacy racket, The AFR’s Tony Boyd has written an detailed article today outlining the rorts taking place across pharmacies, as well as some of the pressures for change: There was a time when joining Australia’s $12 billion retail pharmacy industry was a passport


Standards of living begin their fall

By Leith van Onselen The Australian has published new research by the Canberra University’s National Institute for Social and Economic Modelling (NISEM), which sows that Australian wages rose by only 0.1% over the December quarter versus a 0.7% rise in living costs, meaning that real wages and living standards are going backwards. And NISEM sees


Australia’s supply-side squeeze continues

By Leith van Onselen RP Data’s Cameron Kusher has written an interesting analysis of recent supply-side trends in the Australian housing market, which points to ongoing constipation: Across individual capital cities, the 2011 Census reported that on average; Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin had 2.7 persons per household, Melbourne, Perth and the Australian Capital Territory had