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."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aussie manufacturing continues to expand despite high dollar (ping @thekouk)

According to UBS:

* The manufacturing PMI eased 0.3pt to 51.3 in February. For the first time since August 2010, the index held above 50 for three months in a row. Since December, the PMI has averaged 51.0, against 45.8 the prior three months, indicating improving conditions in the manufacturing sector.

* Production rose 1pt to 51.7, an 8-month high. The key employment component fell 1pt to 50.0, but held well above the Q4 average of 47.6 and remained consistent with a recovery in jobs growth. Stocks fell 3.2pts to 51.8, the first fall in 6 months, indicating slower inventory accummulation.

The tone of today's PMI release is positive, adding to evidence that manufacturing has picked up at the start of 2012 (despite the persistent high AUD). To the extent that the PMI leads the broader NAB business index, it is a positive signal.