Hard times ahead for Generation Less

Rick Feneley and Gareth Hutchens Since World War II, Australians have assumed their children would enjoy a better standard of living than they did. That assumption has been correct – until now.

Michael Pascoe

Take a chill pill and go have a confident Christmas

Not panicking ... Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens

Michael Pascoe According to RBA governor Glenn Stevens, we still get at least 17,000 TVs for every tonne of iron ore. So go and have a confident Christmas.

Economy

Decoding the RBA's Glenn Stevens

RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

Mark Mulligan Economics and markets reporter Mark Mulligan looks at the key topics and takeaways from RBA governor Glenn Stevens' latest in-depth interview, during which he said the Australian dollar would...

Dollar

RBA governor Glenn Stevens says Australian dollar 'better' at US75ยข

Glenn Stevens

Jacob Greber and Michael Stutchbury Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens wants the dollar to fall to levels last seen a decade ago.

Budget

Australia's budget woes unlikely to threaten AAA ratings

Joe Hockey's budget headaches are unlikely yet to lead to higher borrowing costs for the country, credit analysts say.

Australia is likely to keep its triple-A ratings even as the government's looming budget review is set to show a marked deterioration in its finances, two ratings agencies said on Thursday.

Analysis

More in work, more unemployed and the unemployment rate at a long-term high

Confusing job figures

Peter Martin More of us are employed than ever before, yet we are putting in fewer hours than at any time in the past six months.

Economy

Australia's unemployment rate rises despite record new jobs

Unemployment edged up to 6.3 per cent.

Mark Mulligan Australia’s unemployment rate rose slightly, to 6.3 per cent, in November, despite the creation of more than 40,000 jobs during the month.

Economy

Downbeat economic indicators a 'a very disturbing result'

Christmas shoppers in Sydney's Pitt Street Mall.

Mark Mulligan, Madeleine Heffernan Further evidence of flagging consumer sentiment and a cooling housing market on Wednesday added to gathering gloom about the Australian economy and piled more pressure on the Reserve Bank of...

Gareth Hutchens

Consumer confidence slump: Should we worry?

Shopping

Gareth Hutchens Consumer confidence has now fallen so low that it is back to financial crisis levels.

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Lending

Housing loans rise 1 per cent in latest ABS reading

Australians have $1.34 trillion in housing loans outstanding.

Mark Mulligan The total value of housing-related loans excluding alterations and additions rose 1 per cent, seasonally-adjusted, between September and October, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Economy

Consumer confidence plunges to 3-year low

Concern about job security and the economy have pushed consumer confidence to the lowest level since August 2011.

Mark Mulligan Consumer sentiment plunges to "very disturbing" levels amid waning optimism for the housing market and concerns about job security, Westpac says.

Lending

Financial regulators united in attack on risky loans

Moves to curb risky lending could take some of the heat out of Sydney and Melbourne's property markets.

Georgia Wilkins and Nassim Khadem Australia's financial regulators have launched a joint attack on risky home lending as investment and interest-only loans threaten the stability of the financial system.

Loans

Watchdog APRA cracks down on risky home lending with 'macroprudential' measures

Record low interest rates, high household debt and strong competition are ramping up risk in the home lending market.

The banking watchdog is cracking down on risky mortgage lending as the property market heats up.

Michael Pascoe

Coalition runs out of business confidence

The business confidence that the Coalition's election brought has largely evaporated.

Michael Pascoe The Coalition has blown all the lift in business confidence its election had delivered.

William Pesek

Australia adrift: Lost decade beckons as good fortune wanes

Australia

William Pesek The solution to Australia's challenges remain smart, forward-looking, and yes, costly, policy initiatives

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Economy

NAB predicts two interest rate cuts after gloomy business confidence survey

NAB has joined the ranks of those predicting interest rate cuts in 2015 as the economic outlook grows more gloomy.

Vesna Poljak and Mark Mulligan National Australia Bank on Tuesday became the second of Australia's big four banks to change its call on interest rates next year after its closely-watched business survey revealed gloomy findings...

Mortgages

Homebuyers warned lower interest rates won't be 'new normal'

Homebuyers can't expect record-low interest rates to last forever.

Lucy Cormack Respected economists are tipping a cash rate cut from the Reserve Bank early in 2015, but analysts are warning first home buyers of thinking low rates are the new normal.

Oil price falls put Christmas cash in consumer pockets

Petrol

Stephen Cauchi Australian petrol prices are near 30-month lows but could fall another 10¢ a per litre, according to Commsec says.

Economy

Slight lift in job ads as employment market 'stabilises'

The number of jobs lifted slightly in November, but the slowdown in mining activity continued to weigh.

Mark Mulligan The number of jobs advertised online and in printed newspapers climbed 0.7 per cent during November, suggesting a lift in employment in the months ahead, according to ANZ.

Murray Inquiry's key recommendations

A matter of trust: Financial system inquiry chairman David Murray.

Jonathan Shapiro The inquiry made 44 recommendations, here are the key points