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, June 2, 2011

Carr pole-axes retail spending doomsayers

ICAP's Adam Carr good value, as always:

"Today watch out for Oz trade and retail data at 1130 (both April data). The market looks for a $2bn trade surplus as exports rebound following on from the floods, and for a 0.4% gain in retail spending. Be careful of this retail survey. Yesterday’s national accounts show that consumer spending is rising at a solid clip and that retail spending is also pretty good, with annual rates just below average. The national accounts are far more robust than this monthly survey and in any case, as I have pointed out before, this monthly survey is internally inconsistent, as the constant sample (completely enumerated) measure of spending is very strong as well.

So be careful of doomsayers who mindlessly spruik or regurgitate the idea that consumer spending is weak – these people either can’t read or can’t count. Probably both. Either way they are not going to make you money if they can’t get the basics right or just lazily take their economic view from the retailers association. At the end of the day, the argument that consumers have put their wallets away is not credible. Some things are uncertain, some things are worthy of debate. This isn't one of them. Savings growth is very strong, this is true, but this reflects strong incomes growth – strong jobs growth. Consumers as a whole have loads of money - they can consume their want and still save. Australian consumers consequently, are in a very strong position."