Weekly economic & market report

The past week saw a distinct contrast between strong US economic data and a more optimistic Fed driving US shares and most global share markets higher, but comments from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao dampening expectations of policy easing in China which weighed on Chinese shares, commodity prices and the Australian dollar. A further run of […]

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Fact or fiction: RBA Bulletin exposes the myths

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Sometimes it takes thoughtful articles by a truly independent party to put things in perspective. And that is the real value of the Reserve Bank Bulletin – well qualified economists, applying themselves to topical issues to find out the true story. In the current RBA Bulletin a number of issues have been explored include wealth […]

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Good news for government as budget improves

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The underlying budget deficit for the twelve months to January stood at $37.1 billion. Over the same period the fiscal balance stood at a deficit of $41.6 billion and the headline budget deficit was $45.2 billion. Annual growth of budget revenues stands at 11.3 per cent – the fastest in three years. Expenses annual growth […]

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Chinese slowdown opens door to stimulus

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Chinese growth has slowed, but not stalled, and inflation has also eased. In short, Chinese authorities have successfully engineered a “soft landing” for their economy. There is now greater scope to ease monetary policy – largely a lowering of the required reserves that banks need to hold at the central bank. Chinese authorities are being […]

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Weekly economic & market update

The past week saw a bit of volatility return to risk trades early in the week on worries that China’s 7.5% growth target for this year is too low, uncertainty about Greece’s bond swap and news Brazilian GDP growth had slowed to 1.4% last year. Headline developments of the past week The past week saw […]

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Economy limping, not leaping, into 2012

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We should never forget that the economic growth data is ancient history. The Reserve Bank sets monetary policy by looking forward, not back. And in terms of published economic data, we already have a number of figures for February available, so the December quarter is now a long way in the past. Having said all […]

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Reserve Bank acknowledges pain in community

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The Reserve Bank Board has left official rates at 4.25 per cent. Last year the Reserve Bank cut rates at both the November and December meetings, each by 25 basis points. The next meeting is on April 3 2012. The Reserve Bank acknowledges the pain occurring in some sections of the community with “structural change” […]

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Profits barely budge in 2011 while inflation is subdued

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Company profits slumped by 6.5 per cent in the December quarter to stand 2.2 per cent higher than a year ago. In 2011 profits rose by just 2.1 per cent – the second worst performance in 17 years behind the Global Financial Crisis period. Inflation hits 2-year low: The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute monthly inflation gauge […]

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Oliver’s Insights: will the world slip up on oil again?

World oil prices are rising again. Since its low last October, US West Texas Intermediate is up 40% and Asian Tapis oil prices (which drives Australian petrol prices) are up 18%.  Last year a similar surge in the oil price left global growth weak and vulnerable to European and US debt scares in the September […]

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RBA Testimony conveys confidence in domestic economy

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The Reserve Bank Governor has delivered the clearest message yet that the Central Bank has a strong degree of confidence in the outlook for the domestic economy. The tone and comments from the testimony is consistent with CommSec’s view that the cash rate will remain on hold until at least the May meeting. While the […]

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