The Economy

The World Economic Forum in Davos this week takes place against a backdrop of growing anti-establishment politics.

Pay a key symbol as inequality dominates Davos

Chief executive pay has become a powerful symbol of the widening gap between the winners and losers created by globalisation, and boards must put more focus on justifying the bonuses they pay executives amid a backlash against free-market policies.

No one should be claiming we are definitely in a housing bubble right now.

Are we in a housing bubble? No one really knows

House prices are out of control in some Australian capitals. And this week comes a proposal that this should be countered by halting interest rate cuts — a move that would not only fail to solve the problem but also have detrimental impact on the rest of the country, where housing is not booming.

Fewer chief executives expect to see business conditions improve than a year ago, though there are more forecasting a ...

Business chiefs more cautious in 2017

Fresh from a year that delivered major political shocks and proved tougher than expected, Australian business leaders are taking a cautious approach to 2017.

President-elect Donald Trump

Why most economists are so worried about Trump

It's the double whammy that worries economists, that Trump's populist pose assigns less value to economic expertise, while also creating the conditions under which it's most likely to be needed.

'Tepid': The retail market was predicting a 0.4% jump.

Retail sales stumble in November

Economists are hopeful that a reasonable Christmas shopping period will make for a constructive quarter of consumer spending and help stave off fears of a recession, despite "tepid" retail sales growth in November.

Smoke billows from a large steel plant in Inner Mongolia, China.

China's bubble squeezing taking its toll

China's manufacturing sector expanded for a fifth month in December, but growth slowed a touch more than expected in a sign that government measures to rein in soaring asset prices are starting to have a knock-on effect on the broader economy.

Gifts put us into a relationship with someone. They're like a maintenance fee for your relationship.

Why we keep buying presents no one needs

Spend much time with economists around this time of year, and you will hear about the dreadful inefficiency of exchanging gifts. But there's a higher logic to the gift economy.

Small Business