Weekly economic and market update – week beginning 23 April 2012

Europe remains a source of consternation, but there have been some positive developments. News that Italy is delaying its return to budget surplus by one year, Spanish banks’ bad loans had increased to 8% of assets and the prospect of a socialist president in France all weighed on investor sentiment. But against this there was... Read more continue reading

State of the states – state & territory performance report

From

Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out how the states and territories are performing by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment, construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements. Just as the Reserve Bank uses decade averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; we have done... Read more continue reading

Rate cut on the horizon

From

The latest Reserve Bank Board minutes confirms that a rate cut is on the cards for next month provided inflation remains in check. “Slower growth in demand could be expected to result in a more moderate inflation outcome, then a case could be made for a further easing of monetary policy. The Board would have... Read more continue reading

Oliver’s Insights: Here we go again?

After strong share market gains in the March quarter a correction or rough patch was inevitable and we now may have entered just that, particularly with the Euro-zone debt crisis making a bit of a comeback. Spain and Italy certainly remain high risk and further volatility is likely. However, better share valuations, easier global monetary... Read more continue reading

China achieves soft landing, now for the recovery

From

Chinese economic data was weaker than expected; the Chinese economy grew at an 8.1 per cent annual rate in the March quarter (consensus 8.4 per cent) down from 8.9 per cent in the previous quarter, the slowest annual growth rate in 2½ years. Retail sales in March were up 15.2 per cent on a year... Read more continue reading

Weekly economic & market update

The past week saw volatility return in a big way to investment markets. Initially share markets fell sharply in response to the poor US non-farm payroll release and intensifying concerns about Spain. They then rebounded mid week in response to an ECB official implying it may start buying Spanish bonds again, a favourable start to... Read more continue reading

More jobs, but outlook still murky

From

Employment rose by 44,000 in March after falling by 15,400 in February; economists had expected a 7,000 lift in jobs. Healthy mix in jobs: In March part-time jobs rose by 28,200 after falling by 14,400 in February. Full-time jobs rose by 15,800 after falling by 1,000 in February. Jobless rate steadies: The unemployment rate remained... Read more continue reading

Weekly economic & market update

The past week has seen a swing to “risk off” with shares, commodities and growth currencies like the $A all weak on worries about Spain capped off by a disappointing jobs report in the US. After a strong March quarter some sort of consolidation or correction is inevitable and so this may be what we... Read more continue reading

Rate cut on the agenda, inflation to be the deciding factor

From

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 May 1 2012. The Reserve Bank left the door open for a further rate cut. Policy makers acknowledged that... Read more continue reading

A solid start to 2012

From

The bad news on Europe has dried up, the US economy has continued to recover and investors believe the soft patch for Asia will be only temporary. As a result, global sharemarkets rose in the March quarter. While Australia under-performed, investors in small or medium-sized stocks wouldn’t have been disappointed. CommSec is sticking with its... Read more continue reading