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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading