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."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back

Ooooooh, ahhhh, Glen McGrath, Ooohhh, ahhhh, Glenn McGrath. Just wanted to write that! Miss the good ole days when we used to win everything. Feel like we have become a dud sporting country. Unfortunately, the latest global economic data is a bit complex and confusing, a case of two steps forward, one step back:

  • Every country in the world seems to have a budding inflation problem, except Australia, which is a bit surprising given our labour shortages and internal/external price pressures;
  • UK GDP contracted 0.5% in Q4 on the back of the worst Christmas snowstorms in ages. This spooked the markets overnight (Sterling fell sharply), and raised the spectre of 'stagflation' (low growth, high unemployment and high inflation);
  • US consumer confidence rose to better-than-expected levels, but then US house prices slumped in November;
  • Canadian retail sales were robust;
  • Singapore's inflation rate rose to 4.6% yoy in December, which is above target;
  • Mexico's unemployment rate dropped to just 4.94% in December.
Where is Glenn McGrath when we need him?