Australia Economic Outlook
April 16, 2019Following a weak H2 2018, available data suggests growth picked up in Q1 2019. Continued job gains, tightening labor market conditions and an unexpected surge in retail sales in February over the previous month point to surprising resilience in household spending, although consumer sentiment weakened in Q1 on sluggish wage growth and high debts. Moreover, the external sector continued to fire on all cylinders: February saw the second-largest trade surplus on record, thanks to buoyant commodity exports. In addition, building approvals rebounded in January and surged in February, suggesting house prices may have bottomed out. In politics, Australians prepare to head to the polls in May to elect a new parliament. The opposition Labor Party is currently leading the polls by a narrow margin; tax cuts included in the recently unveiled 2019 Federal Budget could persuade voters to change their minds, however.
Australia Economic GrowthGDP growth will decelerate this year as declining residential construction limits fixed investment, while soft wage hikes and a hefty debt stock restrain private consumption. However, sturdy LNG exports will spur growth, while a strong labor market coupled with a possible turnaround in the housing market pose upside risks. Potential weakness in China’s economy is the key risk to the outlook. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP to expand 2.3% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.6% in 2020.
Australia Economy Data
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|Bond Yield||1.73||1.47 %||May 13|
|Exchange Rate||0.70||0.05 %||May 13|
|Stock Market||6,381||0.08 %||May 13|
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Australia Economic News
May 16, 2019
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose to 111.3 in May from 110.7 in April.
May 16, 2019
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 28,110 in April from the previous month, following the revised 27,700 jobs added in March (previously reported: +25,700 jobs) and more than doubling analysts’ expectations of a gain of 14,000.
May 14, 2019
The business confidence index produced by National Australia Bank (NAB) rose almost imperceptibly to minus 0.3 points in April from March’s revised minus 0.6 points (previously reported: minus 0.4 points), which had marked the weakest result in over five years.
May 8, 2019
At its 7 May monetary policy meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate unchanged at an all-time low of 1.50%, where it has been for over two years.
May 7, 2019
Nominal retail sales in March rose 0.3% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following February’s revised 0.9% jump (previously reported: +0.8 month-on-month), which had marked the strongest expansion in over a year.