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, June 4, 2012

UBS: Q1 wages bill spikes; industry sales also strong

From UBS:

The wages bill jumped 2.1% q/q (+8% y/y, after +7% in Q411), suggesting better income flows to the household sector, and a good contribution to the "GDP-income" side of the GDP accounts. Industry sales (real) rose solidly in Q1, +0.9% (after +0.1%), lifting the y/y pace to 2.8% from 2.1% in Q411 (with mining, wholesale & retail the key drivers). Consistent with higher ‘stocks’, this suggests a strong "GDP - production" side of the GDP accounts... 

Implications: Q1 GDP still ‘on track’ for 0.5%, with some upside risk. Today’s data reveal a solid lift in Q1 production, with some of this flowing into a further rise in business inventories. Mining has been a key driver across both better sales and output, though some of this has ended up in stocks (with profits weaker). Retail also shows better trends, with rising production, sales and profits.