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."

Friday, February 3, 2012

More upbeat economic news: Aussie services expanding healthily--like manufacturing

From CBA:

* The latest Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (Australian PSI®) was in positive territory in January lifting 2.9 points to 51.9 (readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity).

* New orders across services increased solidly – up 3.7 points to 54.1

* After four months of decline, employment in the sector expanded in January (51.2).

The services sector recorded a lift in activity in January, following three consecutive months of decline, according to the latest Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian PSI. The latest seasonally adjusted index was 2.9 points stronger at 51.9 in January (readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity)....

It is heartening news to see the PSI back in expansionary territory, after very soft fourth quarter 2011 readings below 50. The RBA’s official rate cuts totalling 0.5% in November and December have probably had some positive spinoff for segments of the services struggling against the substantial negative headwinds of the robust Australian dollar, diffident and frugal consumers, and weak business confidence.