The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Monday, July 5, 2010

As expected: inflation on the rise

According to Business Spectator:

A private gauge of inflation stayed well above the ceiling of the central bank's target band in June, pointing to an uncomfortably high reading in official consumer prices for the quarter.

The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute said its gauge of consumer price inflation rose 0.3 per cent in June from May, when it rose 0.5 per cent.

The annual pace of inflation slowed just a little to 3.6 per cent, from 3.7 per cent in May, above the top of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) long-term target band of 2-3 per cent.

TD senior economist Annette Beacher said the figures suggested the official consumer price report due on July 28 would show an increase of around 1.0 per cent for the second quarter, lifting the annual pace of inflation to 3.4 per cent.

Underlying inflation was forecast to rise by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, keeping the annual pace at three per cent.

"While there are lingering concerns about a fresh wave of negative offshore headwinds, another uncomfortable CPI report will be released at the end of the month, refocusing attention to Australia's unique position of relative economic strength," Mr Beacher said.

"We believe this inflation news will be a key tipping point for the RBA to upwardly adjust the cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent, perhaps as soon as August," she argued.

A Reuters poll of 19 economists taken on Friday found no less than 18 expected at least one more rate rise by Christmas and further increases toward 5.5 per cent by June 2011.