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, December 13, 2011

Whatdoyaknow! Business conditions at "trend" in Nov. NAB revises **up** 2012 GDP

I don't want to say so, but, ahum, I am not surprised by this...Okay, NAB reported today on its closely-followed 'business conditions' survey. And through a combination of better-than-expected consumption and private investment data, and RBA rate cuts, it has **revised up** its 2012 real GDP forecast to a way-above-trend 4.5%...Contrary to many spurious claims (no names mentioned!), this is another set of data confirming that the Aussie economy is currently expanding at a trend pace.

"NAB’s Monthly Business Survey – November 2011

Conditions improve slightly in November and are consistent with an economy growing around trend. Services sectors (ex. finance) and retail doing better. Confidence overall relatively stable – despite European concerns. GDP revised up on mining and consumer strength.

Business conditions edged higher in November, after softening a little in the previous month, and are consistent with an economy growing at around trend. With the exception of trading conditions, all of the survey indicators improved in the month, with increases in forward orders, stocks, employment and capacity utilisation suggestive of improved economic activity.

The survey’s activity readings over the December quarter to date are broadly consistent with underlying demand growth of around 3½-3¾% and GDP (ex. coal) growth of around 3¼-3½% in the December quarter (6-monthly annualised rate)...

Implications for NAB forecasts...Australian national accounts data heralded the start of the long-awaited mining investment boom, while consumption growth remains firm; we see these components (in particular) supporting further growth in the Australian economy in the medium term. Our GDP forecasts have been strengthened to reflect stronger consumption and mining investment growth. We are generally more bullish on near-term growth than the Commonwealth Treasury and RBA’s latest forecasts; we see year-average growth of 2.1% this year, around 4½% in 2012. While we still see downside risks to near term inflation (2% by mid 2012), we expect above target inflation to re-emerge in 2013, consistent with our stronger growth profile"