Call us on 1300 794 893

The Experts

James
Craig James - CommSec
Economy Expert
+ About Craig James
About Craig James

Craig James is CommSec’s Chief Economist.

On leaving school Craig James joined the (then) Rural Bank, whilst undertaking university studies. He received his Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) at University of NSW in 1984 and then a Master of Commerce (Economics) at the same university in 1988.

He remained at the Rural Bank, which became the State Bank over time and then Colonial, working in branches, Corporate, Planning and Economic Research.

He became chief economist of Colonial Group in September 1987, before becoming chief economist at CommSec in August 2000 with the Commonwealth takeover of Colonial.

In 2002 Craig had a sea-change, joining the Australian Financial Review. He had always wanted to pursue a role in journalism and enjoyed the role as an economic commentator and analysts, finding that he could pursue a journalistic-type role as well as doing more electronic media work at CommSec and rejoined the group in 2003.

On taking the reigns of chief economist at Colonial, Craig endeavoured to style their research in a “user-friendly” way – something that set their research apart and still does today. The approach has been successful in their media work and in promoting Colonial, and then CommSec, to the general public. CommSec is the most quoted economic group in the mainstream media.

CommSec economic reports are a bit different in that they devise tools such as the ‘Mums and Dads’ share index and the iPod index, and undertake research on the weather and demographic changes to show how they affect the economy.

Craig currently does around 2-3 regular TV crosses a day, ad hoc radio and newspaper interviews and writes regular commentaries as well as presenting to staff, clients and external organisations.

Outside work, Craig's main interests are athletics (cross country in winter), weight training, reading widely across a range of newspapers, magazines and electronic media, and trying to keep up with the children.

Investor Signposts: Reserve Bank to the rescue

Friday, May 19, 2017

By Craig James

If it wasn’t for the Reserve Bank, the upcoming week would be quite dull. But there are three speeches by Reserve Bank officials in the coming week.

The week kicks off on Monday when the Commonwealth Bank releases the April business sales indicator, a measure of economy-wide spending.

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle is set to deliver a speech entitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Basis” – at the BIS Symposium: CIP – RIP? in Basel, Switzerland. While entertainingly worded, the speech probably won’t drive financial markets.

Also on Tuesday, the Housing Industry Association releases the “Population and Residential Building Hotspots Report 2017” while Roy Morgan and ANZ release the usual weekly measure of consumer confidence. Confidence levels have fallen after the Federal Budget.

On Wednesday the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases data on Construction Work Done. The data contains estimates of residential, commercial and engineering work completed in the March quarter. The residential work figures will feed in directly to the calculation of economic growth in the quarter.

In the December quarter construction work done fell by 0.2 per cent in real (inflation-adjusted) terms after falling by 4.4 per cent in the September quarter. Work done is down by 7.8 per cent on a year ago. Public sector construction work fell by 1.6 per cent in the quarter while private sector activity rose by 0.2 per cent. 

But residential building rose by 1.1 per cent in the December quarter and was up by 5.7 per cent over the year. Alterations & additions rose by 2.1 per cent in the quarter while new residential work rose by 1.0 per cent.

On Thursday, the ABS will release detailed job market estimates for April. The main interest is in the geographic and demographic break-up of the data. Participation rates amongst young people have proven historically low in recent years. In contrast, more seniors have been actively looking for work.

Also on Thursday, two Reserve Bank officials are scheduled to deliver speeches. Michele Bullock, Assistant Governor (Financial System), delivers a speech at Australia's Biggest Business Morning Tea 2017 in Sydney. And on the same day – eight hours later – Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor, delivers opening comments at the launch of the FX Global Code in London. 

Overseas: Quiet week also in the US

Not only is it a quiet week for economic data in Australia – the US also has a strangely thin schedule of economic events.

The week begins on Tuesday with data on new home sales to be released for April. In March, annualised sales rose 5.8 per cent to 621,000 – one of the highest results in nine years. The inventory of new homes for sale fell to 5.2-months' supply, down from 5.4 months at the end of February.

In the US on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve releases minutes of the last policymaking committee held over May 2 and 3. Pricing has been wavering on the likelihood of further rate hikes in 2017. The minutes will highlight the economic variables that policymakers are watching most closely. 

Also in the US on Wednesday, the usual weekly data on mortgage applications is released together with data on existing home sales and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) housing price index.

In March, existing home sales hit decade highs, up 4.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million units. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory is at a 3.8-months’ supply. Economists estimate that six months' supply is more indicative of a balanced market.

On Thursday in the US the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released.

And on Friday in the US, the April data on durable goods orders is released – a key measure of business investment. In March, orders were up 0.9 per cent – the third straight monthly gain.

Also on Friday the second (preliminary) estimate of US economic growth for the March quarter is released. “Advance” data suggested the economy only grew at a 0.7 per cent annualised pace in the March quarter. But weaker inventories cut 0.9 percentage points (pp) from growth with government spending subtracting 0.3pp. Still, output in the quarter was around 2 per cent above a year ago – a solid, sustainable rate of growth when you consider that personal spending was also soft in the quarter.

Financial markets 

One of the most remarkable features of financial markets over 2017 has been the lack of volatility. That is, up to now. Overnight in the US the so-called “fear gauge” – the CBOE Volatility Index (Vix) – rose by over 46 per cent. In contrast, in early May the Vix had hit the lowest levels in 23 years. Up until this week, investors have seemingly ignored events like missile tests by North Korea, rate hikes in the US and military action taken against Syria. But now, investors are taking notice about the political travails of President Trump. Former FBI Director, James Comey, is due to testify next week.

The absence of volatility up till now wasn’t confined to the US - Australian cash rates haven’t budged in 2017 and 90-day bank bill yields have moved by just eight basis points since the start of the years, from 1.74 per cent to 1.82 per cent.

Have Sydney property prices peaked? The CoreLogic daily price series peaked on April 11, and in just over a month, prices have retreated by 1.6 per cent. Melbourne home prices have also eased 1.3 per cent from highs.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: Jobs data in focus

Friday, May 12, 2017

By Craig James

After the data deluge in Australia over the past fortnight, including a Reserve Bank Board meeting and the Federal Budget, the coming week continues in the same fashion. New figures on wage growth are released, alongside key employment data.

Across the globe, investors will focus on the Chinese economic data released on Monday. In the US, data on the housing market will garner the most interest. Also, inflation data will be released across the Eurozone, Canada and even New Zealand over the week.

In Australia, the week kicks off on Monday with the ABS release on housing finance. Despite the tighter lending standards adopted by the banking sector, it is likely that loans for owner-occupiers (those who want to live in the homes) rose by around 2.5 per cent in March after falling by 0.5 per cent in February. And the total value of all new loans may have risen by 1.1 per cent in the month

On Tuesday, investors will focus on the release of the minutes of the last Reserve Bank Board meeting. Board members were decidedly more optimistic at the May meeting compared with the prior meeting. Even the Statement of Monetary Policy - released last week - upgraded near-term growth forecasts. And it is likely that the minutes will convey a similar upbeat tone. Investors will have to wait until the June meeting to see the central bank view on the Federal Budget and recent weaker retail data on retail spending.

Also on Tuesday, the weekly consumer sentiment reading is released by Roy Morgan and ANZ.  The sentiment gauge will attract more than the usual attention given it will be the first reaction of Aussie consumers to the Federal Budget.

And the key economic data on Tuesday from the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the estimate of new vehicle sales for April. The industry data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has already indicated that auto sales fell by 5.1 per cent in April on a year ago, with the result affected by the timing of Easter holidays. The ABS measure should, in theory, remove the seasonality of the result.

On Wednesday, the ABS releases the March quarter data on wages as well as lending finance figures, while the monthly consumer sentiment survey is also released. Wages grew by 1.9 per cent over the past year to December. In the March quarter wages probably grew by 0.5 per cent, keeping annual growth near record lows. And while the annual growth rate is the lowest on record, it still remains marginally ahead underlying growth of consumer prices. The real wage gains alongside the low interest rate environment on record will serve to support consumer spending over the rest of 2017.

Arguably the highlight of the weekly finance diary occurs on Thursday when the ABS releases the job market data for April. Figures have been somewhat more upbeat in the last couple of months with the majority of the growth in full-time jobs. In fact over the past two months full-time jobs rose by over 110,000 – that is, if the data is to be believed.

For the record we expect that jobs growth was more sedate, with a flat result in April. But with slightly fewer people looking for work, the jobless rate may have eased from 5.9 per cent to 5.8 per cent. It should be noted that the recent lift in business confidence and conditions and strength in job vacancies bodes well for hiring in the second half of 2017.

Overseas: US housing sector; China economic data and home prices

So-called ‘top shelf’ economic indicators are released in China in the coming week. And in the US, the focus will be on the housing sector. Inflation data will on the agenda across the Eurozone, Canada and New Zealand. Also over the week, a number of Federal Reserve speakers are scheduled, including Bullard and Mester.

China will actually kick off proceedings over the week with the release of key ‘top shelf’ indicators on Monday, namely retail sales, production and investment. Annual growth rates are slowing, but that is ‘normal’ for a maturing economy. Also, lending and money supply data will be released between Tuesday and Sunday.

Also on Monday in the US, the Empire manufacturing gauge and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) index are both slated for release alongside capital flows figures.

On Tuesday, US industrial production and two key indicators of the housing sector will be released – housing starts and building permits. Annualised US housing starts are tipped to have lifted from a 1.22 million annual rate to 1.25 million in April. New building permits are expected to have edged higher by 0.4 per cent in the month. Industrial production is forecast to have risen by 0.4 per cent in April.

On Wednesday, the usual US weekly data on home purchase and refinancing is issued.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released together with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve business index and the leading index. The leading indicator index is forecast to lift by a further 0.4 per cent in April.

Also on Thursday, China releases data on property prices for April. There will be a lot of interest in the home price data given that authorities have attempted to use a variety of measures to cool a heated property market. The home price restrictions that have been implemented include restrictions on how many houses people can buy in some regions as well as measures requiring 60-80 per cent deposit for second-home buyers. So far the measures have yet to have a significant impact with China home prices up almost 12 per cent on a year ago.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: Federal Budget in focus

Friday, May 05, 2017

by Craig James

It generally only dominates attention for one day of the year, but the Federal Budget will be in focus in the coming week. But there are also plenty of ‘top shelf’ indicators to watch, including retail trade.

The week kicks off on Monday with the release of building approvals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as well as the job advertisements data from ANZ. The approvals data – council approvals to build new homes – is volatile. But overall, it appears that the building cycle has peaked. In February new approvals rose by 8.3% and we expect that they eased 5% in March.

Job ads have followed a zig-zag course over the past four months, lifting 0.3% in the latest month of March. Business surveys suggest that hiring is starting to lift again.

On Tuesday, there is a raft of data during the day to be followed by the release of the Federal Budget at 7.30pm. The National Australia Bank business survey is released with weekly consumer confidence and retail trade.

In March, the NAB business conditions index rose from +9.3 points to +14.2 points (long-term average +5.0 points), a 9-year high. The business confidence index eased from +6.7 points to +6.1 points. The latest Performance of Manufacturing survey suggests businesses continue to do well.

Retail trade may have lifted by 0.3% in March after a 0.1% gain in February. Certainly, the Business Sales index from Commonwealth Bank pointed to an uptick in spending in the month. Consumers are generally cautious about spending with low nominal wage growth dominating focus rather than the modest growth of consumer prices.

The Federal Budget

The Federal Budget will get the usual attention from the media on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The key point being that budget announcements are just the start of a long process of securing agreement from the Senate. The global and domestic economies continue to improve and this will hopefully translate to firmer growth of revenues.

After the raft of economic events on Tuesday, there is then a gap to the next data offerings on Friday. The ABS releases the Overseas Arrivals and Departures publication that has information on both tourism and migration flows. And on the same day, the Reserve Bank releases the monthly credit and debit card statistics that include data on the use of automatic teller machines (ATMs)

Tourist arrivals rose by 0.4% in February. And departures fell by 2.3%. Arrivals are up 10.5% on the year with departures up 4.7%. Tourists from China and Hong Kong rose to a record 1,483,400 over the past year, up 13.5% over the year.

Consumers continue to cut back of credit card debt. In smoothed terms (12-month average) the average balance was down by 1.1% in February.

Overseas: US inflation; China trade and inflation

Overseas, inflation data will be released in both China and the US. Retail sales data will also of interest in the US. And in China, trade figures will attract attention.

The week begins on Monday with trade data (exports and imports) slated for release in China. And in the US, the employment trends index is issued.

On Tuesday in the US, a number of indicators are released that would be best described as “second tier”. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) release the business optimism survey. Revised data on wholesale sales and inventories is also released. A forward-looking gauge on the job market is also scheduled – the JOLTS survey of job openings. And the usual weekly figures on chain store sales are issued.

In China on Wednesday, the April data on producer prices and consumer prices is released. Producer prices are up 7.6% on a year ago – just off the fastest rate in eight years. But consumer prices are only 0.9% higher than a year ago.

In the US on Wednesday, the usual weekly data on mortgage applications is released together with data on import and export prices and monthly figures for the Federal Budget.

On Thursday in the US data on producer prices is issued with the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance.

And on Friday, the consumer price index is issued with retail sales and consumer sentiment. The core measure of prices (excludes food and energy) may have lifted 0.2% in April, leaving the annual rate at 2%. And just like in Australia, US consumers are spending only cautiously with non-auto (car) sales largely flat in March. Interestingly, the softness of spending stands in contrast to healthy consumer sentiment.

There are approximately five speeches by US Federal Reserve presidents over the week.

Financial markets

The Australian share market has generally done well during the month of May – not great, but not badly either. Over the past 70 years, the share market has lifted 46 times for an average monthly gain of 0.5%. The extra piece of good news is that the share market has lifted in May over the past three years.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: RBA in focus

Friday, April 28, 2017

By Craig James

The Reserve Bank and home prices dominate attention in Australia over the week. The Reserve Bank Board meets on Tuesday, Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech on Thursday, and the Bank will release the latest economic growth and inflation forecasts on Friday.

The week kicks off on Monday, with the release of the CoreLogic measure of home prices as well as the Performance of Manufacturing index. Manufacturing is currently in good shape, while home prices continue to lift across most capital cities. Across the nation, home prices rose by a substantial 1.4 per cent in March, matching similar gains in February and December 2016. In fact, over the four months to March, home prices have accelerated by 4.9 per cent – the strongest four-month period in 18 months. But data currently points to only a modest 0.2 per cent rise in prices in April.

On Tuesday, data on consumer confidence is issued at 9.30am AEST. While the Reserve Bank hands down the rates decision at 2.30pm.

If the Reserve Bank was looking to move rates in any direction, it would certainly have the opportunity to do so on Tuesday given that it would be able to flesh out its reasoning in the Statement of Monetary Policy released on Friday. However, it is a safe to assume that the cash rate is unlikely to move. 

Firstly, the Reserve Bank is relatively comfortable about how the economy is evolving and secondly the Federal Budget is released on May 9. The Reserve Bank Board would want to see the latest fiscal policy measures. 

On Wednesday, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases industry data on new vehicle sales while the Performance of Services index is also expected.

On Thursday, the Reserve Bank Governor delivers a speech at the Economic Society (QLD) Business Lunch. And the Bureau of Statistics releases international trade figures (exports and imports) for March. In February, the trade surplus lifted from $1,503 million to $3,574 million, powered by a surge in exports. In fact annual growth of exports was the fastest in eight years with exports especially lifting to China, Hong Kong and India.

And on Friday, the Reserve Bank releases the quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy which includes the latest economic forecasts. Investors will focus on any commentary on the Australian dollar and the state of the housing market. In addition on Friday, the Housing Industry Association releases data on new home sales.

Overseas: US employment data and FOMC meeting to dominate headlines

It is a busy week in the US in terms of economic events. The US jobs data will garner the most interest given it is considered the most important of the monthly statistics. Also, the Federal Reserve meet to decide rates.

The week begins on Sunday when China’s National Bureau of Statistics releases the results of purchasing manager surveys for manufacturing and services. Australia and New Zealand will be the first markets to react to the data on Monday.

On Monday, the US version of the purchasing managers manufacturing survey is released together with data on construction spending. 

On Tuesday, the April data on new vehicle and truck sales is released together with the usual weekly figures on chain store sales. New vehicle sales are expected to have lifted by 4 per cent to a 17.2 million annual rate in April.

In China on Tuesday, the private sector Caixin manufacturing survey is released with the equivalent services gauge to be issued on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the US Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting (decision 4am in Sydney on Thursday morning). If there was any doubt about the likelihood of a rate hike, it was resolved with the weak jobs data for March. In short, the Fed should do nothing on rates this month. But updated economic forecasts may provide some guidance on the timing of future rate changes.

On Wednesday, the usual weekly data on mortgage applications is released together with purchasing manager surveys for services, and the ADP national employment index of private-sector jobs. 

On Thursday, factory orders, the trade balance and the final reading on durable goods orders for March are released. For the record, factory orders are expected to lift by 0.4 per cent, while a trade deficit of $44.4 billion is expected for March.

Also on Thursday, the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is issued together with the Challenger job layoffs series. 

On Friday, the US jobs report – non-farm payrolls – is released. And the focus will be on all the key measures – job growth, unemployment and wages. If jobs rise by 193,000 in April as expected with hourly earnings up 0.3 per cent, then the Federal Reserve should remain on track to lift interest rates twice in the second half of the year. Consumer credit data is also released on Friday.

There will also be five speeches by US Federal Reserve officials to watch on Friday.

Financial markets

  • The US profit reporting (earnings) season remains in full swing in the coming week. 
  • Among stocks reporting on Monday are Ferrari and Tenneco.
  • On Tuesday, reporting firms include Apple, Archer Daniels, BP, ConocoPhillips, Gilead Sciences, Merck & Co, MasterCard, and Pfizer.
  • On Wednesday, profit results include those from Carlyle Group, Facebook, Fitbit, Garmin, Groupon, Tesla, Time Warner, Transocean, and Yum! Brands.
  • On Thursday, earnings will come from Alibaba, Peabody Energy, Paramount Group, and Zynga.
  • And on Friday, financial updates will come from Berkshire Hathaway, and Cognisant.

Please note: This week’s report was written by Savanth Sebastian, Senior Economist.

This report is approved and distributed in Australia by Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399, AFSL 238814 (CommSec) a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945 (the Bank). The Bank and its subsidiaries have effected or may effect transactions for their own account in any investments or related investments referred to in this report. This report is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any securities, property, real estate or financial products, and has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on the information in this report, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual's objectives, financial or taxation situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report is produced by Commonwealth Research based on information available at the time of publishing. We believe that the information in this correspondence is correct and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of its compilation, but no warranty is made as to accuracy, reliability or completeness. To the extent permitted by law, neither the Bank nor any of its subsidiaries accept liability to any person for loss or damage arising from the use of this report.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: Inflation week

Friday, April 21, 2017

By Craig James

Inflation dominates the coming week’s schedule of economic statistics. Meanwhile, in the US, there is a raft of data released, including home prices and economic growth.

The week begins in Australia on Monday with the release of the quarterly State of the States report from CommSec. The report analyses the relative economic performance of state and territory economies.

On Wednesday in Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases the quarterly Consumer Price Index (CPI) – the main measure of inflation used in Australia. In fact, the CPI is regarded globally as one of the best measures of price movements or inflation.

And for the first time in 2½ years, the annual headline rate of inflation is expected to be back in the Reserve Bank’s 2-3% target zone. We expect that prices rose by around 0.6% in the March quarter, lifting the annual rate of inflation from 1.5% to 2.3%.

One of the biggest drivers of the result is likely to be petrol, up around 6% and adding almost 0.2 percentage points to the quarterly lift in the CPI. Seasonal increases in education fees and pharmaceuticals are offset by seasonal declines in holiday travel and accommodation, alcohol and tobacco and clothing.

Stripping out the volatile elements, the “underlying” CPI is expected to lift by around 0.5% in the quarter and 1.8% over the year – getting closer to the 2-3% band. The results for the CPI probably won’t have any direct impact on interest rates. But, higher-than-expected readings could cause some analysts to bring forward expectations of rate hikes from 2018.

The weekly consumer sentiment reading is expected to be released on the same day (on Tuesday). Confidence at the moment is merely OK.

On Thursday, the ABS will release the international trade price data (data on export and import prices). Export prices are tipped to have lifted 3% in the quarter and import prices may have lifted 0.5%. Gold, base metals, wool and wheat prices rose in the quarter, while the Aussie dollar rose by 5.6%.

Also on Thursday, the Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe delivers a speech at the Renminbi Global Cities Dialogue Dinner. Governor Lowe will have his first chance to comment on the inflation data.

On Friday, the ABS releases the Producer Price Indexes for the March quarter, while the Reserve Bank releases data on private sector credit or loans outstanding. Credit may have lifted 0.4% in March.

Overseas: US economic growth and housing data

US economic data dominates in the week ahead. The next Chinese data is released on April 30 (Sunday). The first round of the French Presidential election is held on Sunday (April 23).

On Monday, the week kicks off in the US, with the national activity index and Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index.

On Tuesday, both the FHFA and Case Shiller measures of home prices are issued in the US. Annual growth of home prices stands at 5.7%. The April consumer confidence data is also released with new home sales, the Richmond, Texas and Dallas Federal Reserve survey indicators and weekly data on chain store sales.

On Wednesday, the usual US weekly data on home purchase and refinancing is issued with revised figures on building permits.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released together with durable goods orders (measure of business investment), pending home sales, advance data on international trade and inventories and the Kansas City Federal Reserve survey.

On Friday, investors will get the first look at economic growth data for the March quarter. There are three estimates of GDP – advance, preliminary and final estimates. On the same day, the quarterly employment cost index is issued – a key gauge of wages (or compensation). When wages start lifting at a faster rate, interest rates won’t be far behind. The next Federal Reserve meeting is May 2-3.

Also on Friday is the Chicago purchasing managers index and the consumer sentiment measure from the University of Michigan.

Financial markets

The US profit reporting (earnings) season is in full swing in the coming week.

Among the stocks reporting on Monday are Halliburton, Kimberly-Clark, Alcoa, Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining.

On Tuesday, reporting firms include 3M, Baker Hughes, Caterpillar, Coca Cola, DuPont, Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Office Depot, AT&T and US Steel.

On Wednesday, profit results include those from Fiat Chrysler, PepsiCo, Twitter, T-Mobile and Procter & Gamble.

On Thursday, earnings will come from American Airlines, Domino’s Pizza, Ford Motor, UPS, Under Amour, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel and ResMed.

And on Friday, financial updates will come from Chevron, Colgate Palmolive, Exxon Mobil and General Motors.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: The week ahead

Friday, April 07, 2017

By Craig James

In Australia there is a healthy offering of new economic data in the coming week. Overseas, the highlight in China are trade and inflation figures. Similarly in the US, inflation will be in the spotlight with retail sales.

In Australia, the week kicks off on Monday with data on housing finance (new home loans). The tighter lending standards adopted by the banking sector are likely to result in loans for owner-occupiers (those who want to live in the homes) easing by 0.7 per cent in February. And the total value of all new loans may have fallen by 1.2 per cent in the month.

On Tuesday, Roy Morgan and ANZ release the results of the weekly consumer confidence survey. Home prices and company tax cuts are hogging the radar screen at present.

National Australia Bank also releases the March business survey results on Tuesday. The NAB business conditions index eased from a 9-year high of +16.3 points to +9.3 points in February. And the business confidence index eased from a 3-year high of +9.7 points to +6.9 points.

On Wednesday, the Westpac/Melbourne monthly survey of consumer confidence is issued together with data on dwelling starts from the Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Also on Wednesday, the ABS releases data on lending finance – the broader data on new lending across the economy – including business, personal, housing and lease loans. Investor housing is one of the key drivers at present. Also, the Reserve Bank releases February data on credit card and debit card transactions. Plastic cards are being used more often, especially for smaller transactions.

On Thursday, the monthly employment report is released. The labour market data has been resilient despite the weaker result last month. Importantly, the weakness last month was largely driven by part-time jobs. We expect that the below-average growth will give way to above-average growth in March and we are tipping job growth of around 25,000 in the month. The jobless rate should remain near 5.9 per cent.

Also on Friday, the Reserve Bank releases its bi-annual Financial Stability Review. While primarily designed to check the health of the financial system, a big focus in Thursday’s report will be comments on the home building markets in various capital cities, notably Brisbane and Melbourne.

China inflation and trade; US inflation

Chinese and US economic data compete for top billing in the coming week. The highlight is probably Chinese trade data on Thursday and the US retail sales and inflation data both due on Friday.

On Monday, the week kicks off in the US with the Employment Trends report.

On Tuesday, the NFIB Business Optimism index is issued – a gauge of small business sentiment. And on the same day the JOLTS report of job openings is released – a forward-looking indicator on the strength of the job market. The usual weekly data on chain store sales is also issued on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Chinese data on producer prices and consumer prices are released. Business inflation is no longer going backwards, and the latest result should show that producer prices are up 7.6 per cent over the year – just off the fastest growth in eight years. In contrast, data should show consumer prices are lifting at a more sedate pace with 1.0 per cent annual growth of prices expected in March.

Also on Wednesday in the US, data on export and import prices are to be released together with the monthly budget statement. The usual weekly data on mortgage finance is also issued.

On Thursday in the US, the weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance is released together with data on producer prices and the preliminary University of Michigan consumer confidence reading for April. Excluding food and energy prices, overall producer prices may have lifted by 0.2 per cent in March, keeping annual growth near 1.5 per cent.

In China on Thursday, March trade data is issued in China. Data from previous months has been complicated by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays. A US$10 billion trade surplus is tipped for March.

On Friday, two key US indicators are slated for release; US consumer prices and retail sales. The Federal Reserve is keeping a close eye on inflation especially with regards to the timing for future rate hikes. For the record, the headline inflation reading may have actually edged up only 0.1 per cent in March, leaving headline growth near 2.7 per cent. But the more important core inflation measure (excludes food and energy) is likely to have risen by 0.2 per cent in the month to be up 2.2 per cent over the year.

In terms of spending, economists expect that US retail sales rose by 0.3 per cent in March with a similar increase expected when auto sales are excluded.

Also on Friday, data on US business inventories is released with a 0.3 per cent increase expected.

Financial markets 

The US first quarter earnings season gets underway in the coming week. Alcoa is slated to release earnings on Monday. And on Thursday, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are expected to report. Thomson Reuters tips 10.1 per cent annual growth in earnings by S&P 500 companies over the season.

Please note: This week’s report was written by Savanth Sebastian, Senior Economist.

This report is approved and distributed in Australia by Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399, AFSL 238814 (CommSec) a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945 (the Bank). The Bank and its subsidiaries have effected or may effect transactions for their own account in any investments or related investments referred to in this report. This report is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any securities, property, real estate or financial products, and has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on the information in this report, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual's objectives, financial or taxation situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report is produced by Commonwealth Research based on information available at the time of publishing. We believe that the information in this correspondence is correct and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of its compilation, but no warranty is made as to accuracy, reliability or completeness. To the extent permitted by law, neither the Bank nor any of its subsidiaries accept liability to any person for loss or damage arising from the use of this report.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: RBA decides on interest rates

Friday, March 31, 2017

By Craig James

The wait is over for Australian investors with ‘top shelf’ indicators back on the radar screen. The Reserve Bank is also in focus with a Board meeting on Tuesday.

The week kicks off on Monday, when the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases data on retail spending and new council approvals to construct new buildings (Building Approvals).

In January, retail trade rose by a healthy 0.4 per cent, underpinned by the non-food sector, especially electrical goods. Anecdotal and survey evidence suggest sales softened in February.

Data on new dwelling approvals is always volatile, influenced by the ‘lumpy’ new apartment sector. Dwelling approvals rose by 1.8 per cent in January after falling by 2.5 per cent in December. But in trend terms, approvals have fallen for the past eight months.

Also out on Monday is data on job advertisements. Ads fell 0.7 per cent in February from five-year highs but business conditions are strong, pointing to a rebound in ads.

Indicators released from the private sector on Monday are the CoreLogic Home Value index and the Performance of Manufacturing from Australian Industry Group.

The Home Value Index of capital city home prices rose by 1.4 per cent in February and was up 11.7 per cent over the year. Prices rose in five of the eight capital cities with Canberra up the most (up 3.2 per cent).

The Performance of Manufacturing index rose by 8.1 points to 59.3 in February – the strongest result since 2002. And it was especially strong when you consider that a reading above 50.0 indicates that the sector is expanding. This was the fifth consecutive month of expansion.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank Board meets to decide on interest settings. The decision is easy – interest rate settings will be left on hold and the neutral monetary policy stance won’t change.

Also on Tuesday, the ABS releases the February international trade figures. The trade surplus narrowed from $3,334 million to $1,302 million in January, due largely to a slump in gold exports. But the rolling 12-month deficit improved from $14.2 billion to $10 billion (smallest deficit in 25 months).

And on Wednesday, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) releases the estimates of new vehicle sales for March – one of the most timely spending measures. In February, sales of sports utility vehicles exceeded those of cars for the first time. But overall vehicle sales are consolidating after solid gains in late 2016.

Quiet times continue in US and China

In the US – as always is the case in the first week of the month – the spotlight shifts to the non-farm payrolls (employment) data, released on Friday. In China, the focus is on the gauges of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors.

The week kicks off on Monday in the US with the release of the ISM manufacturing gauge. As noted above in the discussion on Australia, a reading for the manufacturing business index above 50 suggests expansion. Economists expect the ISM index to have eased from 57.7 to 57.0 in March.

Also on Monday is the release of the alternate Markit manufacturing gauge. Meanwhile, data on new vehicle sales is issued along with a reading of construction spending. Construction is tipped to have lifted 1 per cent in February, while annualised auto sales may have eased modestly in March.

On Tuesday, there are a number of indicators to watch. The February international trade figures are released with factory orders and the ISM New York index. And the usual weekly data on chain store sales is also issued.

On Wednesday in the US, the Federal Reserve releases minutes of the policymaking committee meeting held over March 14 and 15. The Fed policymakers are leaning to fewer rate hikes being delivered in 2017. But the minutes may prove insightful about the views held by members.

In terms of economic data on Wednesday, the ADP National Employment index is issued together with the ISM services index. The ADP index suggested that job numbers soared by 298,000 in March. In February, jobs are tipped to have risen by a more modest 194,000 positions. Meanwhile, the services sector has been expanding at a similar solid pace to that of the manufacturing sector. In March, economists expect that the ISM gauge eased from 57.6 to 57.0. Also on Wednesday is the usual weekly data on housing finance.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on jobless claims is released alongside the Challenger series of job layoffs.

On Friday in the US, the non-farm payrolls (employment) data is issued. While Fed policymakers may only expect another two rate hikes this year, that could all change if job numbers surge, wages lift and the jobless rate slides. Economists tip an 185,000 lift in jobs in March with the jobless rate steady at 4.7 per cent and wages up a relatively modest 0.2 per cent.

In China, the Caixin group releases the manufacturing purchasing managers’ gauge on Saturday (April 1) and the services gauge on Thursday. The National Bureau of Statistics “official” purchasing manager surveys

There are also speeches from four Federal Reserve presidents to monitor over Monday and Tuesday.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: The week ahead

Friday, March 24, 2017

By Craig James

As was the case in the past week, there are no ‘top shelf’ indicators due for release in Australia in the coming week.

The week kicks off on Tuesday, when Roy Morgan and ANZ release the weekly consumer confidence reading. Aussies consumers have become a bit more downbeat of late, with the latest confidence reading the lowest in eleven months. No doubt the discussion about risks in the housing market have spooked some consumers. The question is whether the significant amount of home building underway at present gives way to localised oversupply, driving down home prices.

Certainly, home prices have lifted significantly in places like Sydney and Melbourne. And more homes (especially apartments) are being built. But interestingly, the latest data suggests that existing home buyers aren’t selling up, and that is another factor intensifying demand for the number of properties on the market.

In the December quarter, property settlements in Sydney were the lowest for any December quarter in the past 11 years. And while Generation Y are getting their own places in other cities and states, in Sydney the number of people per household remains relatively stable and higher than other cities.

On Tuesday, there is speech from Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, to be delivered to the FX Week Australia conference. Investors will watch for any new warnings about the state of play in the housing industry.

On Thursday, there are three items of note. First, the Bureau of Statistics releases the Finance and Wealth publication. Second, the ABS issues data on job vacancies. And third, the Housing Industry Association releases data on new home sales.

The Finance and Wealth publication includes a raft of indicators such as the share of bonds or equities held by foreign investors; the average wealth level of Aussie families; and cash holdings by consumers, businesses and fund managers. The data should show that wealth is at record highs but it will be interesting to see how much debt has risen in comparison.

The job vacancies data is a key forward-looking gauge on the job market, like job advertisements. The difference being that vacancies data is only released quarterly, while job ads is issued monthly. In broad terms, vacancies and ads are both at, or near, five-year highs, pointing to positive prospects for employment.

The home sales data is important in getting a sense of the supply component of the supply-demand equation. While home sales eased 2.2% in January, the number of sales remains comfortably above both five-year and 10-year averages.

And on Friday, the Reserve Bank releases the private sector credit data – effectively measuring the changes of outstanding lending. The data has proved a little volatile in the past few months, surging 0.7% in December before inching 0.2% higher in January. On average, credit has been growing around 0.4-0.5% a month and similar growth is tipped for the February data.

Quiet times continue in US and China

In the US, there are healthy offerings of new economic data, but the indicators are more ‘second tier’ rather than top shelf. But there will be at least 10 more speeches by Federal Reserve presidents and officials to digest. In China, the purchasing manager surveys will be issued on Friday.

The week kicks off on Monday in the US with the release of the Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing business index.

On Tuesday, there are a number of indicators to watch. Advance readings on international trade and inventories, both for February, are scheduled. The influential Richmond Federal Reserve survey is also released. And the usual weekly data on chain store sales is also issued.

But of more interest on Tuesday will be the March consumer confidence results, together with the Case Shiller survey of home prices for January. Consumer confidence lifted to 15-year highs in February, so there may be some retracement in March. And home prices may have lifted 0.8% in January after a 0.9% gain in November.

On Wednesday in the US, the pending home index is released alongside the usual weekly data on housing finance. And on Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on jobless claims is released alongside the final estimate of economic growth (GDP) for the December quarter. The US economy is growing near 2% annual pace.

On Friday in the US, data on personal incomes and spending is issued with the Chicago purchasing managers’ index. Economists think incomes rose 0.4% with spending up 0.2%. The spotlight will also shine on the Federal Reserve inflation measure – the core personal consumption deflator. Annual price growth is 1.7%. Any easing in the inflation estimate and the Fed can take time in lifting rates, weighing on the greenback.

Also on Friday in China the National Bureau of Statistics releases the “official” purchasing manager surveys covering the manufacturing and services sectors.

Financial markets

Total returns on Australian shares – dividends and share prices – have been consistently hitting record highs since mid-February. The All Ordinaries Accumulation index may be up just 3% over 2017, but it is up by a more meaningful 16% over the past year. In fact, annual growth of share market returns has been holding above 15% for most of 2017.

In terms of share prices, the Aussie share market has under-performed in 2017, lifting around 2% and is in 51st spot of 73 bourses. The US Dow has lifted around 6% and is in 26th spot. Hong Kong and India have lifted around 10% in 2017 and near the top of the ranking list.

This report is approved and distributed in Australia by Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399, AFSL 238814 (CommSec) a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945 (the Bank). The Bank and its subsidiaries have effected or may effect transactions for their own account in any investments or related investments referred to in this report. This report is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any securities, property, real estate or financial products, and has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on the information in this report, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual's objectives, financial or taxation situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report is produced by Commonwealth Research based on information available at the time of publishing. We believe that the information in this correspondence is correct and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of its compilation, but no warranty is made as to accuracy, reliability or completeness. To the extent permitted by law, neither the Bank nor any of its subsidiaries accept liability to any person for loss or damage arising from the use of this report.

| More

 

Investor Signposts: RBA board minutes out next week

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quiet week ahead in Australia

There are no ‘top shelf’ indicators due for release in Australia in the coming week.

In Australia, the week kicks off on Monday with the release of the Business Sales index (BSI) from Commonwealth Bank. Unlike the retail trade figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the BSI is a measure of economy-wide spending, including spending by government and business and including industries like airlines and automotive.

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank releases minutes of the Board meeting held on March 7. Investors and analysts always want as much guidance from the Reserve Bank as possible on interest rate settings and the outlook for sectors like housing. So the Board minutes will be scrutinised for clues on the policy bias.

In terms of economic data, the ABS releases figures on residential property prices on Tuesday. The figures may be perceived as a bit dated, being for the December quarter, but there are also estimates of the number of homes and the average number of people per household.

Also on Tuesday, Roy Morgan and ANZ release the weekly consumer confidence reading. Confidence is good without being great.

The Reserve Bank Assistant Governor (Economic), Luci Ellis, speaks on Tuesday at the launch of the ACT Women in Economic Network in Canberra.

On Wednesday there is another speech from a Reserve Bank official, this time from Deputy Governor Guy Debelle. The Deputy Governor addresses the TradeTech FX Asia conference in Singapore.

On Thursday, arguably the most interesting data for the week is published. The ABS will release the publication, “Australian Demographic Statistics”, a publication containing population estimates for the September quarter. Australia’s population is growing at a 1.4% annual rate – one of the fastest growth rates for advanced economies.

Also on Thursday the ABS releases detailed data on the job market. The February data will include quarterly estimates of employment by industry, with the surprise in 2016 being the sharp lift in job numbers at manufacturing businesses.

Quiet times also in the US and China

Just like in Australia, US analysts and investors will also struggle to get fresh guidance on the economic outlook in the coming week.

The week kicks off on Monday with the release of the National Activity Index in the US. But also on Monday investors will have the first opportunity to react to Chinese data on house prices – released on Saturday. In the year to January, home prices were up 12.2% on a year ago.

On Tuesday in the US, the broadest measure of the trade or external position of the US will be released – the quarterly current account data. A current account deficit of US$113 billion was recorded in the September quarter. Also on Tuesday the usual weekly data on chain store sales is issued.

On Wednesday in the US, the spotlight shines on the housing sector. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issues the monthly home price report with latest data showing that prices recorded a solid 6.2% gain for the year to December.

Also on Wednesday, data on existing home sales is issued. In January, sales recorded a healthy increase of 3.3% to a 5.69 million annual rate. Economists are looking for some of the gain to be handed back, with a 2% fall expected in February. The usual weekly data on housing finance will also be issued on Wednesday.

On Thursday in the US the usual weekly data on jobless claims is released alongside new home sales and the Kansas City Federal Reserve survey on the manufacturing sector. New home sales were up 3.7% in February and economists tip consolidation near a 559,000 annual rate in February.

Also on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers a speech. Other district Federal Reserve Presidents deliver speeches on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

And on Friday in the US the February data on durable goods orders is released. Durable goods are things like cars and aircraft – goods that have a shelf life longer than three years. Generally durable goods orders are seen as a gauge on business investment. Orders may have lifted 1.5% in February after a 2% increase in January.

Also on Friday the Markit organisation issues “flash” readings on manufacturing activity in the US, Japan and Europe.

Sharemarkets, interest rates, exchange rates and commodities

The first quarter of 2017 is drawing to a close. And the interesting point is that the Aussie dollar is one of the strongest currencies in 2017 when measured against the greenback. The Aussie dollar has lifted by 6.3% against the US dollar (measured as units of currency per US dollar) since the start of the year – the fifth strongest currency of 120 currencies monitored.

The Malagasy ariary has been the strongest currency, gaining 9.7% against the US dollar with currencies of countries like Mexico, Israel, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan amongst the biggest gainers.

The UK pound has lost 0.4% against the US dollar with currencies of countries such as Ghana, Turkey and the Philippines amongst those to have weakened most this year.

Of the other major currencies, the Japanese yen has gained around 3% with the Euro up 2%.

| More

 

Investor signposts: US Fed makes call on rates

Friday, March 10, 2017

By Craig James

A good helping of Australian economic data awaits investors over the coming week with lending data, surveys of consumer and business confidence and job data dominating.

In Australia, the week kicks off on Monday with the Reserve Bank releasing the January estimates of credit and debit card lending.

On Tuesday, most attention will be paid to the National Australia Bank business survey. In January, business conditions hit the highest levels in 9 years, while business confidence rose to 3-year highs.

Also on Tuesday, Roy Morgan and ANZ release the weekly consumer confidence reading. Confidence levels remain healthy, but volatile. Higher petrol prices, a lower Aussie dollar and softer share markets are weighing on sentiment together with some disappointment that rate cuts are now off the agenda.

Also on Tuesday, the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issues the “Overseas Arrivals & Departures” publication for January, containing migration and tourist flows data. Tourists from China and the US are growing at double-digit annual rates.

On Wednesday, the monthly variant of consumer confidence – from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute – is released. The importance of the survey is that it will contain the survey results detailing the wisest places to put new savings.

On Wednesday, the ABS will also provide the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates of new vehicle sales for February. The interesting result from the industry data released on March 3 was that sales of sports utility vehicles overtook passenger car sales for the first time.

In addition on Wednesday, the ABS releases data on lending finance – new housing, lease, personal and business commitments. Total new commitments fell by 5.8 per cent in December after rising 9 per cent in November.

The highlight of the week is probably the monthly job data to be released on Thursday. In January, the unemployment rate fell from 5.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent despite the biggest lift in the employable population in eight years. We expect that employment rose by 18,500 in February while the jobless rate was probably steady at 5.7 per cent.

US Federal Reserve meeting. China activity data. Dutch election.

There are two highlights in the coming week. The first is the interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve. And the second is the release of monthly Chinese activity data.

The week kicks off on Tuesday with Chinese data on production, retail sales and investment. The data covers January and February.

Also on Tuesday in the US is data on producer prices (business inflation) together with the NFIB business optimism index and the weekly data on chain store sales.

The US Federal Reserve kicks off a two-day meeting on Tuesday with the decision announced at 5am Sydney time on Thursday. With the economy in solid shape, another rate hike is on the cards.

On Wednesday in the US, data on retail sales and consumer prices are released. Economists tip a “normal” 0.2 per cent rise in core consumer prices (excludes food and energy) and a similar 0.2 per cent lift in retail sales. Traders will also watch for any potential surprises from the Netherlands election also on Wednesday.

On Thursday in the US, the usual weekly data on jobless claims is released alongside housing starts, the influential Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey and JOLTS job openings survey. Starts may have lifted 2 per cent in February after a 2.6 per cent fall in January. The Philly Fed index may have eased from highs in March.

And on Friday in the US, the industrial production data is released with the leading index and consumer sentiment survey. Economists tip a 0.3 per cent gain in production and 0.4 per cent rise in the leading index. Also G20 Finance Ministers meet in Germany on Friday.

Share markets, interest rates, exchange rates and commodities

The widespread perception is that the Netherlands holds the record for the world’s longest economic expansion. But according to OECD data, the record is already held by Australia. The claim that the Dutch held the record was based on data from private sector analysts, suggesting that the Netherlands expanded without a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction) from December quarter 1982 to September quarter 2008. 

But the OECD data actually shows the Dutch economy contracted in the June and September quarters of 2003. The long expansion was actually December quarter 1981 to March quarter 2003 – 86 quarters. The quarterly OECD data goes back to 1960 and it is clearly an authoritative source of data.

Australia actually passed the Dutch record four years ago, in March quarter 2003. Australia has expanded for over 25 years without encountering a recession.

| More

 

MORE ARTICLES

Investor signposts: Retail sales in focus

Investor Signposts: Bounce back expected for economy

Investor Signposts: Pieces of the economic puzzle

Investor Signposts: earnings season kicks into top gear

Will the Reserve Bank budge on interest rates?

Investor signposts: Property prices in the spotlight

Investor signposts: All about inflation

Investor signposts: Jobs in focus

Investor Signposts: The final countdown

Investor Signposts: Jobs, jobs, jobs

Investor signposts: How fast is the economy growing?

Investor Signposts: Business investment and retail sales

Investor Signposts: What to watch next week

Investor Signposts: Aussie labour market in focus

Investor Signposts: The final countdown - Trump v Clinton

Investor signposts: Melbourne Cup rate cut?

Investor signposts: November rate cut on the cards?

Investor Signposts: Jobs, jobs, jobs

Investor signposts: How confident are Aussies about their finances?

Investor signposts: Is a rate cut on the cards?

Investor signposts: How cashed up are Aussies?

Investor signposts: Will the Fed raise rates?

Investor signposts: Jobs in focus

Investor Signposts: Economic growth in focus

Spotlight on profit reporting season

Investor Signposts: spring reporting season has sprung

Investor Signposts: Final week of company 'show and tell'

Investor signposts: spotlight on wages in Australia

Investor signposts: How confident are Aussie consumers?

Investor Signposts: Rate cut on the cards

Investor Signposts: Inflation data in focus

Investor signposts: Will there be an August rate cut?

Investor Signposts: Jobs in the spotlight

Investor signposts: RBA in focus

Investor signposts: Home prices in focus

Brexit vote in focus

Investor signposts: Jobs data to dominate

Will the Reserve Bank cut rates again?

Investor signposts: employment in focus

Investor signposts: business in focus

Jobs in focus

Investor signposts: housing data in focus

Investor signposts: will there be a rate cut?

Investor signposts: inflation takes centre stage

Investor signposts: RBA dominates

Investor signposts: employment data in focus

Investor signposts: The RBA dominates

Investor signposts: US housing sector in focus

Investor signposts: unemployment in focus

Investor signposts: China dominates

Investor signposts: data, data and data

Investor signposts: focus on growth

Investor signposts: spotlight on job market

Investor signposts: focus still on the RBA

Investor signposts: Reserve Bank in focus

New South Wales out on top

Investor signposts

Record number of homes being built

Making sense of volatile markets

Investor signposts

A million Chinese tourists; consumer confidence dips

Investor signposts

Peak in building boom?

Record new vehicle sales

Family finances: best shape in 7 years

Home prices flatten; manufacturing lifts

Investor signposts

At a glance: 2015; year ahead: 2016

Investor signposts

Investor signposts

Investor signposts

Investor signposts: week beginning November 29 2015

Investor signposts: week beginning 22 November

Investor signposts: week beginning 16 November

Investor signposts: week beginning 8 November

Investor signposts: week beginning 2 November 2015

Investor signposts: week beginning 26 October 2015

Investor signposts - week beginning October 19

Investor signposts - week beginning October 12

Investor signposts - week beginning October 5

Investor signposts: week beginning Sept 28

Investor signposts: week beginning September 21

Investor signposts: week beginning September 14

Investor signposts: week beginning September 7

Investor signposts - week beginning August 31

Investor signposts - week beginning August 24

Investor signposts - week beginning August 17

Investor signposts - week beginning August 10

Investor signposts - week beginning August 3

Investor signposts – week beginning 27 July

Investor signposts - week beginning July 20

Investor signposts: Week beginning July 13

Investor signposts: week beginning July 6

Investor signposts: week beginning June 29

Investor signposts: week beginning June 22

Investor signposts; week beginning June 15

Investor signposts: week beginning June 8

Investor signposts: week beginning June 1

Investor signposts: week beginning May 25

Investor signposts: week beginning May 18

Pixel_admin_thumb_300x300 Pixel_admin_thumb_300x300 Pixel_admin_thumb_300x300 Pixel_admin_thumb_300x300 Pixel_admin_thumb_300x300