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, March 1, 2011

Aussie economic data stronger than expected; points to robust GDP in Q4

Aussie data is starting to surprise on the upside in a material way despite the impacts of natural disasters. Economsts have all been upgrading their Q4 GDP forecasts, which were expected to be very weak. Today we had (after a big positive inventory suprise yesterday):

*"Retail sales rose slightly more than expected, up by 0.4% m/m in January (UBS & mkt: 0.3%), after edging up 0.2% m/m in December." (from UBS)

*"Real public demand was stronger than expected, rising by 0.8% q/q (UBS: -0.5%, mkt: nf) in Q4 (5.7% y/y, after 8.4% y/y), after a flat Q3 (was +0.9%). Public demand will contribute 0.2%pts q/q to Q4 GDP growth. Public investment surprisingly increased - despite the unwinding of the fiscal stimulus - up 0.2% (after -1.7%, albeit halving to 10.1% y/y), while public consumption rose a strong 1.1% (after 0.6%, slowing to 4.2% y/y)." (from UBS)

*"The manufacturing PMI rebounded by 4.4pts to 51.1 in February - the highest level since August 2010 - from a weak 46.7 last month, albeit still slightly below the average since 1992 of 51.5." (from UBS)