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

Westpac upgrades GDP forecasts

Interesting from Westpac today:

"We've upgraded our above consensus Q4 GDP forecast from 0.8%qtr, 2.8%yr to 1.1%qtr, 3.1%yr. The major upside surprises in the last week have been: private equipment spending, +6.0%, business non-farm inventories, adding 0.7ppts, and public demand, +0.8%. That all paints a stronger than expected finish to the year. Such an outcome would bring the GDP data more into line with the labour market. Employment growth was running above 3% through 2010 and hours worked increased by 0.8%qtr, 3.2%yr in Q4. Having said that, not all indicators have been so positive. The private business surveys were mixed over the second half of 2010 and both business and consumer confidence was choppy at times during 2010."