Australia’s dismal vaccination rate is undermining what was a great scorecard for the economy that emerged over the first half of 2021.
Since the start of 2021, the economic news was stunningly good. Not only relative to the forecasts and expectations of all economists, but in absolute terms with the unemployment rate falling, wages growth picking up, the stock market and house prices hitting record highs and business conditions and consumer sentiment tracking at or near record highs.
It has been obvious for many months that the Morrison government’s dithering, missteps and errors in obtaining enough COVID-19 vaccinations, was a huge risk to the health of Australians and was a major risk to the economic outlook.
Few economists have both the global and local experience of Stephen Koukoulas. He is an economic thought leader in his role with his business, Market Economics. Stephen is often driving the debate on housing, consumer spending, investment strategies, interest rates and budget policy. This month we got his thoughts on economic sustainability.
The September labour force data show the impact of the recession on jobs, hours worked and unemployment. It is bad news. Depressing in many ways to realise that there are 937,400 Australians unemployed, a further 1,538,800 underemployed and that since the onset of Covid-19, the workforce participation rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points as people have given up looking for work.
Economist Stephen Koukoulas says the economy needs money poured into private sector pockets so they can spend, invest and most importantly hire.
“So I would be looking at policies that make sure the economy is growing strongly enough so that in a reasonable amount of time we get that unemployment rate back to where it was pre-Covid,” Mr Koukoulas told Sky News.
August’s unemployment rate came in below expectations at 6.8 per cent, largely propped up by wage subsidy schemes which mask the actual rate. “It was only ten months ago that it was five per cent, it’s difficult and a lot depends on how the health crisis goes. “But for here and now it’s about jobs.”
Market Economics’ Stephen Koukoulas says immigration intake has “slowed to a trickle” and with it much of the demand for new houses and infrastructure.
Anyone can have a ‘good time’ if they borrow and spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, but as we all know, such action is not sustainable. It cannot go on forever given that one day the money will run out and the debt will have to be repaid.
Our expert economist and social commentator Stephen Koukoulas explores the question of how sustainable is our super with an aging population.
Colin James is one of those people that has spent his life exploring cultures, religions, philosophies and human psychology, which makes him uniquely qualified to speak on the subject of motivation and drivers.
In this essay Colin looks at the drivers of the "banking culture" in the wake of the royal commission, and considers how culture in the workplace is one of the driving forces of performance.
The housing market has hit the wall.
After years of unrelenting strength, house prices are dropping. Not by much, at this stage, but the heat in the Sydney market in particular, has suddenly turned cold.
The fascinating and scary thing is that the price falls are increasingly widespread.
The housing market has peaked with prices no longer growing. At the same time, auction clearance rates are lower and a solid pipeline of new supply – particularly apartments – will soon flood the market in a number of cities and regions.
The big question for business and individuals - how severe will the downturn be and what does it mean for the economy?
Britain's leaving the European Union is one of the biggest shocks of the past decade, both to the political establishment (in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and beyond) and to the financial markets (again, in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and beyond).
I’ve been thinking about the issues that I’m likely to find myself talking about at conferences and events across the coming year. Here are ten things that I think are set to shape and shape the global and Australian economies during 2016.
As 2014 draws to a close, it is time to think about your business, your personal financial plans and how trends in the economy might impact you in 2015.
Without understanding the intricacies of the economy, including what sectors will be strong, where interest rates might be going, what will happen to the Australian dollar or housing or consumer spending, there is a risk that an opportunity will be missed.
Budget, Budget, Budget. That is the word occupying the minds of economist, CEOs, parents, working mums and students alike. But as the results from the commission audit are released, Stephen Koukoulas gives us an insight into just how the government will come up with these figures and his take on what this means for the average Australian.
In light of the humbug of the 'budget never returning to surplus unless we cut the tripe out of spending', I though it interesting to revisit the sensitivity of budget forecasting to small changes to the economic parameters.
House prices are moving into very dangerous territory.
They are rising so fast and are moving to a point where there is a very real risk of a situation that spills over to poor borrowing decisions, relaxed lending standards and financial market malaise that would threaten to end Australia’s multi-decade economic expansion.
Stephen Koukoulas is one of Australia’s most respected economists. His background covers the spectrum of economic insight - from his role as Chief Economist of Citibank to Senior Economic Advisor to the Australian Prime Minister.
In his latest article Stephen argues against the widely held belief that first homebuyers are being priced out of the market, showing us (and Bridie at The Guardian) that with a little frugality and some more realistic expectations, your first home isn’t just a dream.
Scott is a visionary and banking innovator who, as Movenbank's Chief Mobile Officer is poised to disrupt the banking services industry with a mobile-centric offering unlike any other. In this fascinating piece Scott explores what our physical money actually means and how we can expect this to change in the not so distant future.
Some say that it makes the world go round, others call it the root of all evil. But what exactly is money? Why do we need it? And where did it come from?
'The Wevolution Revolution' is a recount of Yossi's amazing adventure of building 'Chalalan' an eco-tourism resort in the heart of the Amazon that inspired the world. Through this fascinating story on a timely idea and the power of vision, Yossi touches big picture issues and identifies new trends and values in the emerging new world. Yossi talks like no one else on understanding nature's module of the eco-system with its internal design and principles. He talks about the economic philosophy before and after the GFC. His insights are striking in their originality, thought provoking and enlightening for organization who are interested to quickly adapt and go ahead of the curve.
in 2013, retail, housing and finance should do well, sparked by lower interest rates and still low unemployment. Construction should start to turn higher, but manufacturing and tourism may well remain soft. The strong Australian dollar will not help. Mining will remain hostage to the world economy and that is looking problematic with China slowing, Europe in recession and the US still fragile. Don't bank on the boom in mining continuing.
The new financial year kicks off on 1 July 2012 and having watched the economy and financial markets for more than two decades, these calendar benchmarks are a good time to take stock, look ahead and think about the issues that are likely to impact on businesses and personal finances.
Before doing that, there is no doubt that in the last month or two, there has been some great economic news in Australia.