Rates below 2% won't help households and will inflate asset bubbles, economists say

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman Doubts are growing about how effective further rate cuts would be, with households tipped not to feel any more confident about the economy while the risks of asset bubbles grow.

Rates cut, ANZ, Fortescue Metals, IAG, Wesfarmers profits may push S&P/ASX 200 higher

All eyes will be on the S&P/ASX 200 with a big week in corporate profits reporting and growing expectations of anothe rate cut.

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman A huge week of company profits reporting along with growing expectations of another interest rate cut could get the Australian sharemarket off to a good start this week.

What the RBA can't say: the government is the problem

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey during question time at Parliament House.

Michael Pascoe Yes, the Reserve Bank cut interest rates because non-mining investment is weaker than previously expected, but what the central bankers avoided telling the House of Representatives economics...

RBA waves red flag over 'very concerning' Sydney property market

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Glenn Stevens speaks at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on February 13, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)

Gareth Hutchens and Max Mason The Reserve Bank is warning of “very concerning” developments in Sydney’s property market, where house prices are still running ahead of other capital cities despite the efforts of...


Opera: The economic stimulus that lasts for centuries

Opportunity to enjoy the drama of the <i>Ring Cycle</i> helps lure high-skilled workers, boosting the local economy.

Simon Kennedy Building an opera house to stimulate an economy may be an odd idea - though not necessarily a bad one, as a new study shows.


RBA's Glenn Stevens: Why we cut interest rates

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Glenn Stevens speaks at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on February 13, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)

Max Mason Taking questions from federal politicians and school children in Sydney, RBA governor Glenn Stevens outlined the central bank's case for cutting the official cash rate to a record low and commented...


Sydney in driver's seat as new two-speed economy emerges

Sydney's economy is booming while the rest of the country remains sluggish

Vanessa Desloires A new two-speed economy is emerging, driven by a boom in construction while the resources sector winds down - and this time Sydney is the clear economic winner, ANZ research has found.


RBA's ability to influence interest rates has diminished, Glenn Stevens concedes during grim economic outlook

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens.

Gareth Hutchens The Reserve Bank says the rate of house price growth in Sydney is "concerning," it now expects economic growth to remain 'below-par' for longer than expected, and it believes unemployment will peak...


RBA Governor Glenn Stevens set for MP grilling on Australian dollar, interest rates, jobs

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens will address the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics at Club Central in Hurstville on Friday morning.

Max Mason The Australian dollar and unemployment are likely to be in the spotlight as Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens steps up in front of federal politicians in southern Sydney on Friday.


ABS chief David Kalisch: Don't take the employment numbers too seriously

The new head of the Bureau of Statistics, David Kalisch, wants several hundred million dollars from the government for an entire technology refresh.

Peter Martin The new head of the Bureau of Statistics has a disarming reply to people who complain that the bureau's unemployment data is unreliable. It's to not rely on it.


Unemployment in surprise jump to 6.4pc

The market is expecting a 6.2 per cent unemployment rate and 5,000 fall in job numbers.

Mark Mulligan Australia's unemployment rate surged to 6.4 per cent in January, making its surprise fall to 6.1 per cent in December short-lived.


Investment housing loans soar, and set to rise further after Reserve Bank's rate cut

10 Bowler Street, Hawthorn East

Gareth Hutchens and Clancy Yeates Loans for investment housing skyrocketed almost 20 per cent in the the year to December, and economists warn they will surge higher after the Reserve Bank's surprise interest rate cut to a record low...


ECB's stimulus program will help, but it's not enough, Pimco says

The European Central Bank's quantitave easing program will get underway next month.

Mark Mulligan Europe's €1.1 trillion ($1.46 trillion) quantitative easing program could help lift the eurozone's growth rate back up above 1 per cent, but won't be enough, the world's biggest fund manager...


Consumer sentiment jumps to pre-budget levels on rate cut, cheap petrol, Westpac says

Leap in confidence: For the first time in a year there are now more optimists than pessimists when it comes to the economy.

Mark Mulligan Consumer sentiment picked up sharply in the first part of February, as cheaper petrol, a surging share market and the Reserve Bank of Australia's first interest rate cut in 18 months buoyed spirits.

Australian households pay different amounts to access national electricity network


Gareth Hutchens Australian households are paying far more than people in comparable countries in electricity network charges, with huge discrepancies across different states, a new report has found.


Jobless fears drive caution at Genworth despite $172.7 million profit

Genworth Australia CEO Ellie Comerford believes conditions this year will be 'subdued' and is tweaking her outlook accordingly.

Ruth Liew Genworth posted a $172.7 million statutory net profit for the six months to December, due primarily to lower than expected claims and a strong housing market.


Interest rate cut revives housing bubble fears

Narayanan Somasundaram Geoff Schippers, a mortgage broker in Sydney, has seen an increase in clients looking for homes to buy since the central bank dropped its benchmark rate to a record last week.

Business confidence stuck in the doldrums: NAB survey

Business confidence remains at close to its lowest level since the 2013 federal election.

Mark Mulligan Business confidence remained largely flat in January, while consumers took little heart from cheaper fuel and and a cut in lending rates, the results of two surveys released on Tuesday showed.

Elizabeth Knight

Abbott leadership: Canberra's 'Game of Thrones' is bad for business

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus

Elizabeth Knight The instability and uncertainty surrounding the attempt to topple Tony Abbott's crown will hurt businesses that are consumer based.

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Weakened Abbott struggling against worst economy in 24 years

Michael Heath Prime Minister Tony Abbott's diminished mandate after a leadership challenge risks making it tougher for him to address the weakest economy in a generation.