A torrid fortnight for the economy

Thu, 10 Sep 2015  |  

The labour force data today rounded out a fortnight of hugely variable data on the Australian economy.

The good economic news in business expectations and conditions, housing construction and prices and rising commodity prices was offset by poor news on GDP growth, company profits, consumer sentiment and business investment. The generally weaker level for share prices is another worrying sign for the economy.

Today’s labour force data fit into the middle of the good news / poor news spectrum. Employment rose a moderate 17,000 in August, but there were revisions to recent history which chipped 30,000 jobs off the level of employment previously reported. This meant that the unemployment rate remained elevated at 6.2 per cent with the only comfort being this was one-tenth lower than the unemployment rate in July.

No competent economist would suggest the labour market is strong or indeed that there are any concrete signs that conditions will improve in the months ahead. The unemployment rate has been 6.0 per cent or higher for 15 straight months, something that Australia has not experienced for 12 years. Job creation is not keeping uo with popultion growth and job advertisements are flat at a relatively low level.

The policy risks are not clear from this mix. There may be grounds for lower interest rates and perhaps fiscal measures if the poor news dominates in themonths ahead. That said, the RBA is giving a huge weight to the current very low level of the Australian dollar as a factor that will stimulate the economy through exports and import replacement. That, with record low interest rates and decent global growth, should be underpinning better economic news. They are not which us why the market is pricing in more rate cuts and economists are climbing over each other to have the most bearish forecast for the unemployment rate. 

For me, the RBA is on hold for a long time to come. We'll see.


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Wed, 29 Jul 2020



Covid19 has opened a door for Australians to positively accept significant changes that will lead to a shared good. This rare opportunity enables us to achieve sustainable economic and social goals that create a new ‘normal’ as our way of life.

These Ten Steps are presented as non-partisan recommendations to the Australian Parliament in the firm belief that, if they embrace them, the Australian economy and society will be greatly enhanced after the Covid19 pandemic has passed.

*A job for you if you want one.
A significant increase in part time and casual employment can be created that will enable you to enjoy a more creative and peaceful lifestyle and to live longer and better. The traditional age at which you would have been expected to retire will become obsolete as a result. An access age for pension and superannuation will become your choice. This will enable you to remain in paid work for as long as you want to, on a basis that you choose, while boosting the productivity and growth of Australia.

*You will get wage increases that will be greater than your cost of living.
A demand for enhanced innovative skills at all levels of employment will be created as the economy grows in strength, thereby enhancing your stature in the workforce and enabling executive salaries and bonuses to drop to levels that are accepted as justifiable by employees, shareholders and customers.

The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

Tue, 07 Jan 2020

This article first appeared on the Yahoo Finance web site at this link: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/the-governments-test-in-2020-220310427.html   


The misplaced objective of the government of delivering a surplus, come hell or high water, has gone up in smoke

For many people, the cost of the fires is immeasurable. 

Or irrelevant. 

They have lost loved ones, precious possessions, businesses and dreams and for these people, what lies ahead is bleak.

Life has changed forever.

As the fires continue to ravage through huge tracts of land, destroying yet more houses, more property, incinerating livestock herds, hundreds of millions of wildlife, birds and burning millions of hectares of forests, it is important to think about the plans for what lies ahead.

The rebuilding task will be huge.

Several thousands of houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure will require billions of dollars and thousands of workers to rebuild. Then there are the furniture and fittings for these buildings – carpets, fridges, washing machines, clothes, lounges, dining tables, TVs and the like will be purchased to restock.

Then there are the thousands of cars and other machinery and equipment that will need to be replaced.