The Kouk's top 40 hits and misses

Sat, 08 Feb 2014  |  

Over the summer break, while fiddling through data bases, reading and just being interested in things, I unearthed a few quirky bits and pieces about the Australian economy, people, sport and a few other bits and pieces. 

Only item 38 is open to any discussion, perhaps. Here are the top 40.

  1. Australia's daily GDP is a little over $4.3 billion.
  2. Every 21 seconds, $1 million of GDP is created.
  3. In 2014, there will be, in net terms, around 600 new jobs created each day.
  4. Approximately every two and a half minutes, employment rises by one.
  5. The price of the average basket of goods and services purchased by the average household rises by 0.008% a day.
  6. If consumer spending on restaurant and take away meals halved in 2014 and nothing else changed, Australia would record its first recession since the early 1990s.
  7. Turnover of Australian dollars in the foreign exchange market will be approximately $25 trillion in 2014.
  8. In 1980, the median house price in Sydney was $70,500.
  9. 410 people will die each day in 2014.
  10. In 2013, around 1.25 billion litres of wine was produced.
  11. In 2014, there will be approximately 35,000 greyhound races in Australia. The total distance run by all of the dogs in these races will be approximately 98,000 kilometres.
  12. 1.55 million chickens are slaughtered every day.
  13. The Abbott government will borrow approximately $70 billion in gross terms in 2014.
  14. Before his last test innings, Don Bradman's batting average was 101.39.
  15. Approximately 185,000 new houses will be built in 2014.
  16. There have been over 1.89 billion views of Gangnam Style on
  17. One in every 588 Australians is currently in prison.
  18. The Howard government may yet have presided over a recession in 2000-01. The latest national accounts estimates show that GDP recorded zero GDP growth in the December quarter 2000 which was followed by a drop in GDP of 0.4% in the March quarter 2001. Watch for revisions.
  19. In 2011-12, 1.469 million tonnes of waste paper and cardboard was exported, with a value of $241 million.
  20. The Whitlam government had zero net government debt when it was sacked in November 1975.
  21. Over $400 million in cash is withdrawn from ATMs every day.
  22. There has been a 155% increase in the number of people aged 85 and over in the past 20 years.
  23. The number of people over the age of 115 is unchanged, at zero.
  24. Agriculture, forestry and fishing makes up 2.2% of Australia's GDP. The electricity, gas and water sector is larger.
  25. 92.4% of the prison population is male; obviously 7.6% is female.
  26. The last time Australia recorded a current account surplus was in the March quarter 1975.
  27. The household sector generates 12.4 million tonnes of waste each year.
  28. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 27.4% of the prison population.
  29. The Australian government has not borrowed money from overseas since 1987.
  30. Women earn 64% of the average male's wage and salary income.
  31. If Gina Rinehart earned no income, she could give away $60 million a day during 2014 and still have a billion left on new year's eve.
  32. Over 26 million cubic metres of concrete was made in 2013.
  33. Prior to the pink batts insulation scheme being introduced, there was one house fire for every 765 insulation installments. With the pink batts scheme, there was one fire for every 6,158 installations.
  34. The imprisonment rate for people born in Australia is 209.2 people per 100,000. For people not born in Australia, the imprisonment rate is 81.8 people per 100,000.
  35. Over the last 40 years, the total increase in inflation has been 762.5%.
  36. John Howard is the only Treasurer to deliver simultaneously deliver double digit unemployment, inflation and interest rates.
  37. Australia's population increases by one every 1 minute and 18 seconds.
  38. Collingwood will have an incalculable number of unfair umpiring decisions go against it this season.
  39. The average annual income for a male in Sydney in 1982 was $18,350.
  40. Total prize money for the Melbourne Cup will be $6.2 million in 2014.
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As house prices fall across Australia, should we be worried for our economy?

Tue, 13 Mar 2018

This article first appeared on the Yahoo7 Finance website at this link: 


As house prices fall across Australia, should we be worried for our economy?

Are you a home owner?

If you are in Sydney, Perth and Darwin, you are losing money at a rapid rate.

In Melbourne and Canberra, prices are topping out and there is a growing risk that prices will fall through the course of this year. If your dwelling is in Brisbane or Adelaide, you are experiencing only gentle price increases, whilst the only city of strength is Hobart, where house prices are up over 13 per cent in the past year.

The house price data, which are compiled by Corelogic, are flashing something of a warning light on the health of the housing market and therefore the overall economy. For the moment, the drop in house prices has not been sufficient to unsettle the economy, even though consumer spending has been moderate over the past year.

The importance of house prices on the health of the economy is shown in the broad trend where the cities that have the weakest housing markets tend to have the slowest growth in consumer spending and are the worst performance for employment and the unemployment rate. The cities with the strongest house prices have strong labour markets and more robust consumer spending.

Trump could cause the next global recession: here's how

Wed, 07 Mar 2018

This article first appeared on the Yahoo7 Finance website at this link: 


Trump could cause the next global recession: here's how

The Trump trade wars threaten the global economy. This is not an exaggeration or headline grabbing claim, but an economic slump based on a US inspired global trade war is a distinct and growing possibility as it would dislocate global trade flows, production chains and bottom line economic growth.

Up until a few weeks ago, there was a strong enthusiasm for the economic policies of US President Donald Trump. Tax cuts and planned infrastructure spending were seen to be good for the US and world economies. US stocks and many around the rest of the world rose strongly, to a series of record highs. At the same time, bond yields (market interest rates) surged as the market priced in interest rate hikes and inflation risks from the ‘pro-growth’ policies. It was seen to be good news.

Very few, it seems, were worried about the consequences for US government debt and the budget deficit from this cash splash, especially when the US Federal Reserve was already on a well publicised path to hiking interest rates.

About a month or two ago, a few of the more enlightened and inquisitive analysts started to focus on the fact that the annual budget deficit under Trump was poised to explode above US$1 trillion with US government set to exceed 100 per cent of annual GDP.

A debt binge fuelled by tax cuts was a threat to the economy after the temporary sugar hit.