Encouraging pickup in car sales

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Car sales In December, 86,587 vehicles were sold, down by 2.4 per cent compared with a year ago. In seasonally adjusted terms CommSec estimates that sales rose by 1.5 per cent in the month Over the year to December 235,285 four-wheel drive vehicles were sold – up 25 per cent on a year ago. What […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning January 9 2011

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The big picture One thing we can never escape here in Australia is natural disasters. Whether it is drought, floods, bushfires, cyclones or hail storms, natural disasters are part and parcel of our wide, brown land. And the Queensland floods are no different. While clearly historic in size and significant in magnitude, Australians are dealing […]

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Home approvals slump but renovation in vogue

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Building Approvals; PSI The outlook for home builders is gloomy. Approvals to build news homes slumped by 4.2 per cent in November. The slide in approvals marked the seventh decline in eight months. Over the past eight months approvals have fallen by 23 per cent The all-important new house segement was down by 2.0 per […]

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Petrol price war keeps pump prices low

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Weekly petrol; PMI The national average terminal gate or wholesale price of petrol currently stands at a 26-month high of 124.2 cents a litre. Fortunately for motorists, increased competition has seen oil companies holding back on passing on the added increase over the holiday period. In fact pump prices have actually fallen over the past […]

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‘Noughties’ over; ‘Teens’ begins

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Look back at 2010. Look ahead at 2011. Contrary to the expectations of the gloom and doomsters, 2010 turned out to be a positive year. The global economy expanded by around 4.5 per cent, the world didn’t slip into recession and global sharemarkets generally rose. Sure, the year wasn’t without its problems. Investors fretted about […]

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Slowest housing lending growth on record

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Private sector credit (Lending) Private sector credit rose by 0.3 per cent in November to stand 3.6 per cent higher than a year ago. Housing lending to owner-occupiers stands 7.3 per cent higher than a year ago – the weakest reading in records going back 20 years (since 1990). Business credit fell for the fifth […]

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Weekly market & economic update 24 December 2010

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Headline developments of the past week The past week was pretty light on in terms of major news. However, while European debt worries continued amid talk of more ratings downgrades, demand for riskier assets was in part given a boost by speculation that China is investing in European debt after Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan […]

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Weekly market & economic update 17 December 2010

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Headline developments of the past week Sovereign debt issues in Europe raised their ugly head again over the last week. While the Irish austerity package was passed by its Parliament, investors were kept on edge by Moody’s putting Spain and Greece on credit watch, Standard and Poors doing the same for Belgium and bickering amongst […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning December 19 2010

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The big picture One of the biggest furphies in 2009 was the claim that Australia had a ‘bubble’ in the housing market. It didn’t and still doesn’t but to some extent you can understand where some commentators were coming from with the claims. In Europe and the US, home prices generally tanked in 2009 but […]

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Wealth rebounds; Aussie companies cashed up

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Financial accounts; Imports Australian companies are maintaining very liquid balance sheets. Corporate Australia held a record $271.4 billion in cash and deposits as at September. As a proportion of total financial assets, companies held 30.7 per cent of financial assets in cash – the highest in 11 years Super fund holdings of cash assets rose […]

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