Consumers jittery over soft jobs market


Glenda Kwek Concerns about weakness in the Australian jobs market are dampening consumer confidence, even as the local currency rose towards its high for the year on positive US and Chinese news.


Consumers ‘sending a message’ on jobs as confidence goes backwards

Pedestrians carry Hermes International SCA branded shopping bags as they walk along New Bond Street in London, U.K., on Friday, May 31, 2013. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA asked the French market regulator to dismiss a probe into allegations that the world's largest maker of luxury goods breached disclosure rules in building a stake in rival Hermes. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Glenda Kwek Australians are increasingly less confident about the future, despite low interest rates that are pushing up the value of their houses.


Janet Yellen stays the course in first testimony as Fed chair

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, before the House Financial Services Committee hearing. Yellen said Tuesday that if the economy keeps improving, the Fed will take

Janet Yellen, fresh from taking the helm of the Federal Reserve, has made it clear she would not make any abrupt changes to US monetary policy.


Investment in growth slows so jobs will be even harder to find


Stewart Oldfield Putting the car industry to one side, there is chronic unwillingness among business to invest for growth.


Toyota shutdown highlights shift to services

An employee of Electrolux adds components to a fridge at the Electrolux Factory in Orange, NSW. The future of the factory is unclear at this stage but managment is trying to improve efficiency and production to keep the factory open. generic factory manufacturing fridges industry union employment photo taken on the 11th of June 2013 PHOTO DOMINIC LORRIMER

Glenda Kwek Manufacturing policy needs to be about more than the here and now, say economists.


Australian homes worth $5tn

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Rebecca Thistleton Australia’s homes are now worth a massive $5 trillion, with the value of the nation’s residences jumping a huge $184 billion the last three months of 2013 alone.


Dollar passes US90¢ as business conditions hit three year high

Construction. Business confidence.

Glenda Kwek Business conditions soared to their highest levels in almost three years in January, led by a sharp improvement in a manufacturing sector now reeling from Toyota’s exit from local production.


White House backs Joe Hockey's plans for IMF reform

Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook at the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday 17 December 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares

John Kehoe The Obama administration supports Treasurer Joe Hockey's call for the United States to hand over power to emerging economies at the International Monetary Fund.


Economic growth is picking up, says RBA

Consumer confidence is up.

Australia's economic growth is expected to pick up pace this year thanks to a lower exchange rate

Economic reforms that transformed Australia

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins Ross Gittins nominates the 10 reforms that transformed Australia's economy.

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Trade balance hits surplus as exports jump

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Glenda Kwek A strong rise in exports has pushed Australia's trade balance into a surplus for the first time in two years.


‘Wisdom of the oldies’: One hundred years of experience says interest rates will go down

Three of Australia’s foremost market economists - with a century of experience between them – are defying their peers and traders’ bets by predicting the central bank will be forced to resume cutting...


Rates to stay on hold for longer: RBA

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Glenda Kwek Rising house prices and inflation enough to keep rates unchanged.


US could default on debt 'very soon'

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew delivers keynote remarks and answers questions during an event about the federal debt limit at the Bipartisan Policy Center February 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. Lew urged the Congress to raise the debt limit, saying that the Treasury will have to use special steps to continue selling debt if the ceiling is not raised by February 7.   Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warns the US is on course to hit its so-called debt ceiling, the limit to which it can legally borrow, by the end of the month.

Future Fund bounds to $97 billion in 2013

Ex Federal Treasurer Peter Costello addressing the crowd at the IOOF breakfast in Melbourne. Phot by Jesse Marlow. 23/05/2012


Georgia Wilkins Global efforts to lift economic activity helped the Future Fund to post sharp growth to $96.56 billion in 2013.


Job ads fall, but at slower rate

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Photo by louise kennerley

Job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers have dropped again, but it's not all bad news.


Clothing and travel pull back January inflation

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A private sector gauge shows surprisingly high inflation in December has been unwound by falling prices for clothing and travel.


Sydney, Melbourne house prices lead strong growth in January


Glenda Kwek Home prices across Australia's major cities rose 1.2 per cent in January, extending a strong run that has boosted household wealth and confidence.


$A no help to struggling manufacturers

Low interest rates and a falling Australian dollar are failing to lift manufacturing activity.


Interest rate to stay put in 2014, experts predict

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Peter Martin As the Reserve Bank prepares for its first board meeting of the year, the BusinessDay forecasting panel is predicting a rarity - an entire year without a move in official interest rates.