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 youtube.com.
  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 Over $400 million in cash is withdrawn from ATMs every day.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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THE LATEST FROM THE KOUK

Don’t fall for the spin - Scott Morrison’s budget surplus is no certainty

Thu, 06 Dec 2018

This article first appeared on the Yahoo Finance web site at this link: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/dont-fall-spin-scott-morrisons-budget-surplus-no-certainty-224422761.html 

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Don’t fall for the spin - Scott Morrison’s budget surplus is no certainty

Prime Minister Scott Morrison could yet be guilty of prematurely declaring that his government will deliver a budget surplus in 2018-19.

Sure, tax revenue is growing at a rapid pace and the government is underspending on a range of government services, but there are still seven long months to go between now and the end of the financial year that might yet blow up the surplus commitment.

PM Morrison’s ‘return to surplus’ boast is based, it appears, on hard data for the first four months of the 2018-19 financial year on revenue and spending information from the Department of Finance. These numbers do look strong, at least in terms of the budget numbers and if the trends on revenue and spending continue, the budget will probably be in surplus. Treasury will be factoring in ongoing economic growth, no increase in the unemployment rate and buoyant iron ore and coal prices over the remainder of the financial year. These forecasts and hence the budget bottom line are subject to a good deal of uncertainty, as they are every year.

If, as is distinctly possible, the economy stalls in the March and June quarters 2019, commodity prices continue to weaken and if there are some unexpected increases in government spending, the current erroneous forecasts for revenue and spending could leave the budget in deficit.

Change of view on monetary policy

Wed, 05 Dec 2018

In the wake of the September quarter national accounts, and with accumulating information on house prices, dwelling investment, the global economy and spare capacity in the labour market, I have revised my outlook for official interest rates.

For some time, I have been expecting the RBA to cut the official cash rate to 1.0 per cent, a forecast that has been wrong (clearly) given its decision to leave rates steady right through 2018.

That said, it has been a highly profitable call with the market pricing interest rate hikes when the call was made which has yielded a decent return as time has passed.

My updated profile for RBA rates is:

May 2019 – 25bp cut to 1.25%
August 2019 – 25bp cut to 1.00%
November 2019 – 25bp cut to 0.75%

The risk is for rates to 0.5% in very late 2019 or in 2020

It will be driven by:

  • Underlying inflation remaining below 2%
  • GDP growth around 0.25 to 0.5% per quarter in 2019
  • Annual wages growth stuck at 2.5% or less
  • Global growth slowing towards 3%
  • Labour market under-utilisation around 13 to 13.5%

There are likely to be other influences, but these are the main ones.

AUD, as a result, looks set to drop to 0.6000 – 0.6500 range.