Businesses bank on second half recovery

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Private New Capital Expenditure; Average weekly earnings New business investment rose by a less than expected 1.3 per cent in the December quarter. Manufacturing dominated investment plans with investment in the sector up by 7.0 per cent as opposed to mining investment which fell by 4.8 per cent in the December quarter. Businesses expect to... Read more continue reading

Investor Signposts: Week Beginning February 27 2011

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The big picture The role of a business economist is to educate, inform and occasionally entertain. But most people merely want business economists to explain what key issues mean in practical terms. And the one concept that most people want to understand is the terms of trade. Simply, the terms of trade relates the prices... Read more continue reading

Building slumps; but renovations in vogue

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Construction work done Construction work done rose by 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, due solely to higher engineering activity. Residential building fell by 1.1 per cent in the quarter. CommSec estimates the drop in residential building will detract 0.1 percentage points from December quarter GDP growth. There is still the risk that the... Read more continue reading

Goldilocks wages; RBA Governor caution

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Labour Price Index; RBA Governor speech Wages rose by 1.0 per cent in the December quarter, slightly above market expectations. In annual terms wages are up 3.9 per cent on a year ago – exactly in line with the average growth over the past five years. Private sector wages rose 1.0 per cent in the... Read more continue reading

Motorists need to watch Middle East jitters

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Weekly Petrol Price Petrol prices continue to tracking sideways. According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 0.3 cents a litre to 135.1 cents a litre in the week to February 20. The wholesale (terminal gate price) stands at a 28-month high of 127.1 cents a... Read more continue reading

Profit season: Mixed, but earnings still growing

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Corporate profit season The general sense is that the profit-reporting season has so far proved very mixed. And the numbers back it up. Figures produced from Bloomberg show that there have been 19 positive EPS (earnings per share) surprises from the 61 ASX 200 companies that have reported so far with 25 negative surprises. CommSec... Read more continue reading

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,... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading