Economic Update: December Quarter 2010

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While the Australian share market tended to lag overseas markets during the year, the stronger Australian Dollar (which exceeded parity with the US Dollar for the first time since 1982) did detract significantly from unhedged global equity returns. After a disappointing start to 2010, diversified fund investors enjoyed solid returns during the second half of […]

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Discount airfares hit record lows

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Index of Airfares All airfares except discount fares rose in January. Domestic airfares generally rose in January with business fares up 2.9 per cent, full economy fares up 1.1 per cent and restricted economy fares up 0.2 per cent. But the discount airfare index hit record lows. An index of discount airfares hit record (18-year) […]

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Employment slows: A case of lies, damned lies and statistics?

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Labour force Employment rose by just 2,300 people in December, well below forecasts centred on job gains of around 25,000 (range from +10,000 to +40,000 jobs). The November result was not revised – recording job growth of 54,600 people. Full-time employment rose by 1,700 in December (November jobs were up by 55,400) and part-time jobs […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning January 16 2011

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The big picture Humans like to think that they control most things. Then along comes a natural disaster like a flood and it reinforces the fact that there are many things outside our control – especially the weather. While it was clear last year that the La Nina weather event would be significant, there was […]

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Record credit card use; Surprise lift in tourism

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Migration & Tourism; Credit card lending Record lift in credit card use. The number of purchases and cash out transactions made on credit cards lifted by 13 per cent in November – the biggest increase for a November month. Credit card balances are growing at the slowest annual pace in a year. The average credit […]

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Flat sharemarket poses questions for investors

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Sharemarket perspectives The CommSec ‘Mums and Dads share index’ – a way of tracking the performance of commonly-held shares – fell by 7.4 per cent in 2010, exceeding the decline for the broader All Ordinaries index. It was the second year of under-performance for the CommSec Mums and Dads share index. Given its concentration on […]

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Trade surplus to moderate as coal volumes fall

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International trade Australia’s trade surplus narrowed by $636 million to $1,925 million in November. Economists had tipped a surplus near $2 billion. Exports were flat over the month while imports rose by 2.9 per cent.  Australia has chalked up trade surpluses of $17.1 billion over just the past eight months. Australia’s trade surpluses with both […]

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Record slowdown in spending as job ads slump

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Retail trade; Job Advertisements; Weekly Petrol Price Retail spending rose by just 0.3 per cent in November after the 0.8 per cent slide in October. However Nonfood retailing rose by 0.5 per cent. Over the past year retail spending has risen by just 1.3 per cent – marking the second weakest reading in five years […]

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Weekly market & economic update 07 January 2011

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Headline developments In a move that had been anticipated for some time, China raised one year lending and deposit rates by 0.25% as part of an ongoing effort to keep inflation expectations in check. Further tightening is likely over the next six months. The Chinese Government is also reportedly targeting 8% growth this year and […]

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Almost 250,000 families hit by unemployment

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Labour market statistics New figures raise questions about how tight the job market really is. As at June 2010 there were almost a quarter of a million families (244,900) where one or both spouses were unemployed (3.9 per cent of all families). There were over 134,400 families with children under the age of 15 where […]

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