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 13, 2012

February NAB business conditions improve to best since April '11, confidence weakens

From UBS:

* The NAB survey of business conditions ticked up in February (+3.0, after +2.3) - to the highest level since Apr-11, despite the fall implied by weaker PMIs (UBS: 'down', mkt: nf). Conditions are trending up modestly, from a trough in August (of -3.0) - to just below average (+5.5 since 1997).

* However, business confidence fell back solidly to the lowest level since Sep-11 (+0.9, after +4.0 was the highest since May). While confidence remains in positive territory (just), it is below average (6.4 since 1997).

* The key employment component weakened (-0.4, after 0.8), but remains at a relatively resilient level, and broadly consistent with much stronger jobs growth than the currently weak pace - although the relationship has seemingly broken down.