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, March 5, 2012

ANZ on strong labour market data: "chance of further interest rate reductions...much reduced"

From ANZ today on its job ads series:

Job advertising has increased strongly in both January and February indicating a clear pick-up in hiring intentions across the Australian economy in early 2012. Total job ads are now 3.6% above the level of a year ago and 10% higher than what now appears to be the cyclical low point in October 2011.

It appears clear from the data that total job advertising in Australia troughed in late 2011 and is picking up strongly in early 2012. If these hiring intentions are converted into actual jobs then it appears that the Australian labour market is in for a gradual improvement over the course of 2012. This greatly reduces the chances of a material rise in the unemployment rate over the year ahead. We are confident that the unemployment rate will track sideways between 5% and 5.5% for much of 2012.

The data supports the view that mining, energy and infrastructure investments are driving overall job creation in Australia. This is reinforcing the assessment that the 'two-speed' or 'patchwork' economy is back in full force in 2012 following a general softening in all job advertising in 2011.

While the economic forces at work across Australia remain complex, these figures suggest that the economy is well placed from a general cyclical point of view. Strong capital expenditure intentions and rising job advertising suggests that the chance of further interest rate reductions from the RBA are much reduced. Improving sentiment in global financial markets and rising commodity prices reinforce this view.