Speaking

The Kouk's Influencers

What is happening in the Australian economy? How important is China or the rest of the world to our well-being. Consumers are spending again, housing is booming despite the naysayers. The Aussie dollar has fallen sharply, will it keep going? What about interest rates, vital for big and small business and mortgage holders alike. What about the budget, does a surplus matter? What do cuts in government spending mean? All of these questions and more can be addressed in Stephen's presentation on cause and effect in economics.

This presentation can include analysis and information on the influence of:

speaking-influencers
  • Financial markets
  • Housing
  • Mining
  • Consumer spending
  • The Budget
  • Interest rates and inflation
  • The world economy
  • Jobs and the labour market
  • The effect of politics on your business segment

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The Kouk's Outlook

If you need a reliable, accurate, thought provoking and informed economic forecasting at both local and international levels, look no further. Informed by Stephen's exceptionally broad experience and background, his presentation ties together complex policy changes with current macroeconomic data to provide comprehensive insights into how unfolding economic trends will impact on you and your business.

This presentation can be tailored to include a wide range of topics including:

speaking-outlook
  • Where the economy is going
  • Which sectors are strong? Which are in decline?
  • What are the economic opportunities in the near term or over the next few years?
  • Given no one has perfect foresight, what are the main economic risks ahead?
  • Local and international forces
  • Commodity prices and China?

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THE LATEST FROM THE KOUK

Inflation is low and remains low

Thu, 27 Apr 2017

This article first appeared on the Yahoo7 Finance website at this link: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/inflation-020818312.html 

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Inflation is low and remains low

Inflation edged up a little in the March quarter – from an annual rate of 1.5 per cent at the end of 2016, the headline rate rose to 2.1 per cent. The underlying rate of inflation, which the RBA trends to place more weight on when it comes to assessments of interest rate policy, was even more muted, lifting from 1.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

And recall, the RBA target range for inflation is between 2 and 3 per cent.

Annual underlying inflation has been at or below 2 per cent since late 2015, and has been below 2.5 per cent, the midpoint of the inflation target, since the end of 2014. That is a long time.

The data today confirm that inflation is low and remains low and in isolation, continues to give the RBA plenty of scope to further reduce interest rates. When the recent data on unemployment, building approvals, private sector business investment and wages growth are added to the mix, the case for an interest rate cut is strong.

The Australian budget is likely to confirm this is a big-spending, big-taxing government

Thu, 20 Apr 2017

This article first appeared on The Guardian website at this link: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/19/the-australian-budget-is-likely-to-confirm-this-is-a-big-spending-big-taxing-government 

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The Australian budget is likely to confirm this is a big-spending, big-taxing government

While much of the focus of the upcoming federal budget will, quite rightly, be policy issues associated with housing affordability, areas of changes to spending and revenue, there will also be an opportunity to analyse the underlying values of the government.

This will be the fourth budget of the current Coalition government and will show us the ‘big picture’ of government policies and priorities. There will be data on aggregate government spending, taxation receipts, gross and net government debt and the budget deficit.

The most accurate way to analyse the trends in the key budget figures will be to assess them as a ratio of GDP. Government spending, for example, totalled $48.8bn in 1982-83 and this rose to $423.3bn in 2015-16, which is, at face value, an enormous increase. But spending actually fell from 25.8% of GDP in 1982-83 to 25.6% of GDP in 2015-16. It is a similar issue with government debt, the budget deficit and other benchmarks.

Based on the performance of the economy since the last fiscal update in December 2016, the budget is likely to confirm that this is a big-spending, big-taxing government with a strategy for continuing budget deficits and rising debt as it funds some of its pet projects.

It is all but certain that government debt will remain above 25% of GDP in 2017-18 and the forward estimates, meaning the government will be the first in the last 50 years to have spending at more than a quarter of GDP for eight straight years.