Deficit high but less than predicted

Original article by Adam Creighton,Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 4 : 28-Sep-20

Deloitte Access Economics expects the federal government to announce a 2020-21 Budget deficit of $198.5bn on 6 October. This is just $14bn higher than the government had forecast in June. Chris Richardson of Deloitte says personal and corporate income tax receipts will exceed the government’s low expectations, while commodity prices have been more resilient than anticipated. He notes that the iron ore price in particular is still well above the Treasury’s projections. However, Deloitte expects federal debt to be about $401bn higher than the government’s pre-pandemic forecasts in 2023.

CORPORATES
DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD,AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Resource exports face $40bn hit

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 28-Sep-20

Australia’s resources and energy exports rose to a record $290bn in 2019-20, driven by a rally in the iron ore price. However, the Department of Industry’s latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report forecasts that the nation will export just $256bn worth of commodities in 2020-21. The total value of resources and energy exports in 2021-22 is forecast to be $252bn. The Department expects a pullback in the iron ore price to around $US85 a tonne by the end of 2020-21; iron ore shipments are expected to fall to $80bn, after reaching a record $102bn in 2019-20. Meanwhile, gold export earnings are forecast to reach a record $31bn in 2020-21.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Fitch tips 10pc fall in house prices as immigration weakens

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 15 : 23-Sep-20

Fitch Ratings has forecast that housing prices in Australia will fall by 5-10 per cent over the next 12-18 months. The credit ratings agency says the reduction in net immigration due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the resulting impact on population growth will weigh on the residential market; it also warns that the restrictions are unlikely to be eased well into 2021. The National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation recently estimated that underlying demand for new houses and apartments could fall by up to 232,000 over the next three years as a result of the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, NATIONAL HOUSING FINANCE AND INVESTMENT CORPORATION – ASX NFI

330,000 jobs at risk in retail, building

Original article by Adam Creighton, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 5 : 10-Aug-20

McKinsey has warned that a second wave of coronavirus-induced job losses could affect between 270,000 and 640,000 Australian workers by March. The consulting firm expects sectors such as retailing and construction to be hardest hit as government support measures are scaled back. McKinsey forecasts that an additional 215,000 jobs could be lost in the retail sector by March, on top of the 42,000 that were shed in the June quarter; the construction sector in turn faces the loss of up to 205,000 jobs by March, having shed 46,000 jobs in the three months to June.

CORPORATES
McKINSEY AND COMPANY

AAA rating defies $184b deficit

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Jul-20

The Australian economy will contract by 2.25 per cent in 2020-21, according to forecasts in the federal government’s economic update. The nation’s official unemployment rate is in turn projected to rise from 7.4 per cent at present to 9.25 per cent by the end of the year. Treasury has also forecast a Budget deficit of $85.5bn for 2019-20, rising to around $184.5bn in 2020-21. Meanwhile, the nation’s gross debt is slated to top $851.9bn in 2020-21. Moody’s and S&P have indicated that the economic update will have no impact on Australia’s triple-A credit rating.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

Jobless could reach 1.4 million by Christmas

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 24-Jul-20

The federal government’s economic update shows that the official unemployment rate is forecast to fall to around 8.75 per cent by June 2021. However, the Treasury notes that the measured unemployment rate could be up to 10.75 per cent by December if employers choose to give existing staff extra hours of work rather than hiring additional staff. This would lift the number of people who are unemployed to about 1.4 million. Meanwhile, wages are now expected to grow by just 1.75 per cent in 2019-20 and 1.25 per cent in 2020-21, compared with a forecast of 2.5 per cent growth in the mid-year update in December.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

China iron ore drive delivers $9bn boost

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Jul-20

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the federal government has maintained "cautious and conservative assumptions" regarding the outlook for the iron ore price. The steel input is trading at around $US110 per tonne, but the government now expects it to be fetching $US55 a tonne by the end of 2020. It had forecast in December that the iron ore price would fall to $US55 by the end of June. Cormann stresses that the resources sector has been a major contributor to the domestic economy’s resilience during the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

JobKeeper too costly to keep

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 24 : 29-Jun-20

A quarterly survey of economists shows that there is general consensus that while the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme has been effective, it needs to have an end date. JobKeeper is slated to end in late September, and Warren Hogan from the University of Technology, Sydney says the increase in the JobSeeker payment could be extended by six months to accommodate JobKeeper recipients who have not returned to work when the scheme ends. The survey has also found that economists expect the Australian economy to contract by four per cent in 2020, while the unemployment rate will peak at eight per cent by the end of the year.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY

Resources exports to turn south

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 29-Jun-20

The federal government expects Australia’s mining and energy export earnings to fall 10 per cent to $263bn in 2020-21, after rising to a record $293bn in the 2019-20 financial year. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources has advised that iron ore export earnings are likely to have met its forecast of $100bn in 2019-20, given the resilience of the steel input’s price during the coronavirus pandemic. The department expects gold export earnings to reach a record $32bn in 2020-21, although revenue from LNG and coal exports is forecast to fall.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Moody’s sticks to AAA rating

Original article by John Kehoe, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Jun-20

Moody’s Investors Service expects the Australian economy to contract by five per cent in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Moody’s notes that the fall in GDP growth will be lower than many other developed nations, and it expects Australia to return to positive growth in 2021. Moody’s has also affirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating; rivals S&P Global Ratings and Fitch have previously placed the nation’s credit rating on negative outlook, but Australia is only one of 10 nations that have an AAA rating from all three agencies. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has described this as an "expression of confidence" in the federal government’s handling of the health crisis.

CORPORATES
MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY