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."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's changed since the RBA's May meeting?

Perhaps the most significant development is the slump in global oil prices, which is a huge bonus for global growth. The price of oil was the biggest threat to an above-trend global recovery, and the US's prospects in particular. Today WTI oil has fallen back to around $97/barrel from a RBA Board meeting high of close to $115/barrel (first chart). The Tapis price of oil has also declined from over $130/barrel to $119 today (second chart), which is well below the RBA's assumption of a $126/barrel in the Statement on Monetary Policy. The second major innovation is the collapse in the Aussie dollar, which has been down a full 5 cents since the Board last met. After peaking at around 1.1013 cents, it has traded at an overnight low of 1.0514 (third chart), which is also materially below the RBA's assumed 1.07 cents level for the purposes of its forecasts. What does all of this tell me? After the second-quarter air-pocket, the third and fourth quarters of 2011 are set to be rippers for both the Australian and the global economies, ceteris paribus...