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."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Westpac: Current Aussie economic growth "well above trend"

More bad news for those cherry-pickers peddling the "sub-trend" economic growth fiction. Westpac report today that the Australian economy continued growing at a significantly above-trend pace in April. Their more subjective "leading index" had a gloomier outlook, but, like the RBA, I prefer to focus on what is actually happening in the economy as opposed to forecasts as to what might occur in the future:

The annualised growth rate of the Coincident Index, which gives a pulse of current activity, was 4.3%, well above its long term trend of 3.1%...The level of the Coincident Index rose from 275.8 in March to 276.8 in April. Monthly components were mixed with real retail trade down 0.4%, but employment up 0.1% and the unemployment rate falling 0.2ppts to 5.0%. Updated quarterly components though were uniformly strong with industrial production up 2%, real gross non-farm product up 1.2% and real household incomes up 1.5%.