The Economy


New stats show high income households doing very nicely

Marc Moncrief 6:58 PM   Australian incomes were 6.3 per cent higher last year than they were 2011-12, after taking inflation into account.

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Surfing the lower dollar

Lets Go Surfing surf school director Brenda Miley says the lower dollar is great for businesses targeting tourists.

Jamie Freed 6:33 PM   For tourism businesses the falling dollar is a godsend.

ChAFTA backlash has racial overtones: Ferguson

Former Labor minister Martin Ferguson says the backlash against the China Free Trade Agreement has "racial overtones".

Jenny Wiggins 5:58 PM   Former federal Labor minister Martin Ferguson has criticised the political deadlock over the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement as having "racial overtones".

Storm clouds on the economic horizon

Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine 8:00 PM   Anyone aged under 40 in Australia today has never experienced a recession in their working lifetime. But our record-breaking run is in peril.

Score one for the RBA crystal ball


Michael Pascoe 4:28 PM   After this week's weak economic data, it's no time to panic on monetary policy – just time to adjust to this, the new normal.

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Economy neither wonderful nor woeful

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins 3:57 PM   Searchers after truth rather than headlines don't take quarterly changes in GDP too literally. This graph shows why we shouldn't lose our bundle over the economy.

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Why we need the $A to be US60c


Peter Martin 1:18 PM   The Australian dollar has dipped below 70 US cents twice in the last two days. Next time, it's set to stay below 70 and keep falling.

Hockey’s pull-forward retail policy leaves a hole


Michael Pascoe 1:53 AM   It's like the small business tax stimulus didn't happen. Maybe that weaker Australian dollar will ride to the Treasurer's rescue in three months' time.

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Power, politics and a level playing field

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson 12:15 AM   Large businesses don't just wield an excessive amount of power in the marketplace, they also wield enormous power in the halls of Parliament.

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Retail sales slip for first time in 14 months

So you've bought it - but what happens if you discover it's 'not quite right'?

Gareth Hutchens   Retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in July, the first nationwide decline since May last year.

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GDP numbers aren't adding up


Michael Pascoe   Whichever story you want to tell about the economy, you can generally find a number to suit.

IMF staff warn G20 of rising risk to global economy

"Risks are tilted to the downside, and a simultaneous realisation of some of these risks would imply a much weaker outlook," the IMF note warns.

The risks to the global economy have risen and a combination of threats including slower growth in China and rising market volatility could severely cut the outlook, International Monetary Fund staff warned on Wednesday.

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Defence spending keeps economy growing

The HMAS Hobart air warfare destroyer.

Gareth Hutchens   A surprise 41.5 per cent jump in government spending on defence equipment helped Australia's economy grow by 0.2 per cent for the three months to June.

Economic growth close to zero as living standards slip

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin   A sharp fall in national income has all but obliterated economic growth, pushing down income per head by the most since the GFC.

Single women to be hardest hit in retirement

A single woman's retirement income is likely to be about half that of a similarly aged couple, the Actuaries Institute has found.

Ruth Liew   The least wealthy sections of the Australian community will remain entirely dependent on the age pension after retirement, according to the Actuaries Institute.

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Australia keeps streak alive ... just

Australia is now growing more slowly than many other countries.

John McDuling   The Australian economy grew, but only just, last quarter. 

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GDP growing at slowest rate in more than two years

Slow business investment and helped put the brakes on growth in the June quarter.

Mark Mulligan   The Australian economy expanded at its slowest rate in four years in the second quarter.

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NSW powers ahead in economic stakes

NSW is powering ahead of other states on the 'Stateometer'.

Matt Wade   A new economic comparison tool, the "Stateometer", shows NSW is in an enviable position.

US judge finds class actions aid economic honesty

US Judge Jed Rakoff is in Melbourne for a symposium on class actions.

Sarah Danckert   Eminent US Judge Jed Rakoff is in Australia to deliver the keynote speech for the Maurice Blackburn and Business Day class action symposium.

RBA leaves cash rate on hold

The RBA has kept rates on hold at a record low 2 per cent.

Mark Mulligan   Despite sluggish domestic growth and a sharp fall in the terms of trade, the RBA is reluctant to cut rates further, preferring the weaker Australian dollar and already low cost of credit to fuel investment, spending and non-mining exports.

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Net export surprise could force GDP downgrade

ABS said second-quarter deficit on goods, services and capital widened to just above $19 billion from $13.5 billion in January-March.

Mark Mulligan   Australia current account deficit surged 40 per cent in the second quarter, increasing the chances that growth in the three months ended June 30 will fall well short of forecasts.

Warning: nice fuel prices won't last

Higher petrol prices to come.

Daniella Miletic   Skyrocketing price for US crude oil will mean pain at the bowser for us.

Michael Pascoe

Animal spirits: Business herd needs to be bolder


Michael Pascoe   You can't keep downsizing your way to executive bonuses indefinitely

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Business data prompt GDP downgrade

Operating profits fell 3.9 per cent on the year, in line with expectations.

Mark Mulligan   Business stock was flat in the June quarter, while sales dropped slightly and gross operating profit fell for the year.

Michael Pascoe

Your week wasn't this bad


Michael Pascoe   If you've had a rough week courtesy of market volatility, just consider how much worse it could have been.

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Consensus worth a try to fix the budget

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins   It was easy to miss, but a proposal with much practical potential arose from this week's meeting of the great and good at the National Reform Summit. It was an idea that could break the budget impasse.

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Australia Post applies for $1 stamp

Post box.

Australia Post is seeking an almost 43 per cent increase in the price of postage stamps.

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China likely to trigger global recession: Citi

China's market volatility is putting global growth at risk, says the IMF.

Sangwon Yoon   China's leaders will act too late to avoid a major downturn, says the economist who brought you the term 'Grexit.'

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US income data provides reality check

Michael Feroli, chief US economist for JPMorgan Chase, said he still gives more weight to the GDP number, but the low GDI growth rate does affect his thinking.

Peter Coy   Not many people noticed that US gross domestic income increased at an annual rate of just 0.6 per cent.