Retailers benefit as consumers continue to spend

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CBA Business Spending index The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) eased yet again in trend terms in January, but it certainly wasn’t all bad news. In fact only a small minority of business sectors are now posting weaker sales. In January only three of the 20 industry sectors recording weaker sales in the month, […]

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Weekly market & economic update – 18 February 2011

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Headline developments of the past week There was good news out of China with January inflation coming in lower than expected owing to a lower than expected rise in food prices. However, this is unlikely to head of further monetary tightening as non-food inflation actually rose more than expected. Credit data also came in weaker […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning February 20 2011

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The big picture One of the biggest issues at present is the conservatism of Aussie consumers. Australians are saving again, rather than spending. And rather than buying goods on credit we are paying for goods with our own money – cash or EFTPOS. The changes in the behaviour of Australian consumers actually started back in […]

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Unleaded petrol sales slump to 13-year lows

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Petrol Sales; RBA Speech; Imports Petrol sales in the September quarter were the lowest for any September quarter in five years, as consumers and businesses focussed on cutting costs. Unleaded petrol sales totalled 2,873 mega litres in the September quarter – marking the weakest quarterly reading in 13 years. The Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Philip […]

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Car sales slide as buyer caution emerges

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New car sales Australian new car sales recorded a modest fall in January. Car sales fell by 1.9 per cent in January – marking the biggest monthly fall in six months. Passenger car sales slumped by 3.9 per cent in the month, while sales of SUVs rose by 2.9 per cent. In annual terms total […]

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Where are we in the investment cycle for shares?

Key points While mainstream global shares may be due for a short term correction, the cyclical recovery still has further to go. Shares are still cheap, confidence in the sustainability of the global recovery is continuing and share market liquidity remains favourable. US shares are in the “sweet spot” of the investment cycle and are […]

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Chinese inflation remains a threat

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Chinese inflation data Inflation prints below forecast. China’s annual inflation rate lifted modestly in January, from 4.6 per cent to 4.9 per cent, but was still below expectations centred on a result near 5.3 per cent. Most prices higher. Most categories recorded higher inflation in January with food prices up 10.3 per cent on a […]

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Lending lifts but consumers still cautious

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Lending finance; ABARE Crop Report; RBA Board minutes Lending rose in December. Total lending finance rose for the fourth consecutive month up by 2.4 per cent in December. Lending totalled $54.9 billion in December, up 4.1 per cent over the year but up a much healthier 10.5 per cent in the past four months. The […]

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Confidence stabilises but trend index at 20mth lows

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Consumer sentiment The Westpac/Melbourne Institute index of consumer confidence rose modestly in February following the sharp slide in January. The index rose by 1.9 per cent to 106.6 in February. In trend terms confidence levels have been falling for the past five months and are holding at the lowest levels in 20 months. What does […]

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La Niña gauge hits 10-week low

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La Niña update There are further signs that the current La Niña weather event has peaked. The Southern Oscillation index fell to a 10-week low of +18.1 on February 11. The current La Niña event is the most significant since 1917 and is having widespread effects on the economy and the broader community. The Bureau […]

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