Top bureaucrat’s warning on threat to living standards

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jul-19

The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet’s outgoing secretary Martin Parkinson says Australia’s productivity growth has fallen below global standards. He warns that growth in Australia’s living standards will decline over the next decade unless action is taken to boost productivity. Parkinson adds that political instability and policy uncertainty may have contributed to the fall in productivity over the last decade.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

RBA to look past weak GDP in June quarter

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 23-Jul-19

Economists expect that annualised GDP growth will be less than that recorded in the March quarter when figures for the June quarter are released. IFM Investors’ chief economist Alex Joiner says the expected weak result could explain why the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to cut interest rates in June and July. The RBA and the federal government are expected to look at other economic data in preference to the June GDP figures when deciding whether further monetary or fiscal stimulus is needed.

CORPORATES
IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Lower taxes can lift growth and wages

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Jul-19

The University of Melbourne’s John Freebairn argues that reducing the tax rate for larger companies would stimulate economic growth and help to increase wages. He adds that a tax cut for large companies with non-resident shareholders in particular would boost GDP growth. The federal government has ruled out further attempts to introduce tax cuts for businesses with annual turnover of more than $50m following the bill’s rejection by the Senate.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ECONOMICS SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

RBA, tax cuts are more than enough boost

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 8-Jul-19

Stephen Koukoulas of Market Economics and Andrew Charlton from Alphabeta say that further fiscal stimulus is not needed at present to boost the Australian economy. They argue that the federal government’s income tax cuts, the Reserve Bank’s latest official interest rate reduction and an easing of credit restrictions should be sufficient, and in fact may provide a greater economic boost than many observers anticipate. They add that too much fiscal stimulus could put a return to a Budget surplus at risk.

CORPORATES
MARKET ECONOMICS PTY LTD, ALPHABETA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Warning of reform or forgo $1.5 trillion windfall

Original article by Sid Maher
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Jun-19

The 2019 Australian National Outlook report highlights the economic benefits from pursuing economic, social and environmental reform over coming decades, and the likely cost of failing to undertake reform. The two-year study concludes that a wide-ranging reform agenda could see the Australian economy grow to between $5.5trn and $5.6trn by 2060; conversely, the economy would grow to just $4.1trn without such reform. The report also warns that in a worst-case scenario, the digital divide could see the unemployment rate could peak at 20 per cent by 2040 and then average 10 per cent in future years.

CORPORATES
CSIRO, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

RBA sets jobless test for rate cut

Original article by Vesna Poljak, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 8-May-19

The Reserve Bank has downgraded its 2019 growth forecast for the Australian economy from three per cent to around 2.75 per cent. The central bank indicated on 7 May that a "further improvement" in the labour market will be necessary to lift inflation to its target range. It has also flagged the prospect of an interest rate cut if the employment rate does not fall below five per cent. Michael Blythe of the Commonwealth Bank says the central bank will almost certainly reduce the cash rate if there is even a modest rise in unemployment.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

We can withstand a downturn: Frydenberg

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 8-May-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is confident that the Australian economy would be resilient in the event of a significant downturn in the global economy. Frydenberg notes amongst other things that the tax cuts in the April 2019 Budget will boost consumer spending and economic activity, and he believes that the Coalition’s policy settings are sufficient without having to pursue stimulatory measures such as bringing forward the full tax cuts package. Frydenberg also dismisses suggestions that legislating the tax cuts is the Coalition’s only real policy agenda.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, CENTRE ALLIANCE, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, ADANI MINING PTY LTD

Price carbon cuts? Yes you can

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 2-May-19

Independent modelling has concluded that GDP growth could be reduced by a cumulative $264bn by 2030 if Labor’s carbon emissions reduction policy includes unlimited access to international carbon credits. This could rise to around $1.2bn if the use of foreign carbon credits is restricted or banned. The modelling is outlined in a new report by former bureaucrat Brian Fisher, which will be released on 2 May. Labor’s climate change spokesman Mark Butler has previously argued that its emissions reduction policy cannot be costed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND SCIENCES, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

IMF warns on housing slide

Original article by Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Apr-19

The International Monetary Fund is expected to downgrade its forecast for the Australian economy in its latest World Economic Outlook. Thomas Helbling, the IMF’s lead economist for Australia, warns that the nation’s housing market downturn has been more severe than anticipated and it has occured sooner than expected. He says the property market downturn will need to be offset via government policies aimed at stimulating the economy, such as increased investment in infrastructure. Helbling has also raised the possibility of interest rate cuts.

CORPORATES
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

Market backs rate cuts over fiscal stimulus

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 4-Apr-19

The April 2019 Budget has not had much impact on monetary policy expectations, with financial markets still pricing in two interest rate cuts by August 2020. Sally Auld of JP Morgan says the Budget’s fiscal stimulus measures are unlikely to completely offset the impact of factors such as the downturn in housing prices, slowing construction activity and weak growth in real incomes. Meanwhile, economists are more bearish about the economic growth outlook than the Treasury.

CORPORATES
JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY