The Kouk's top 40 hits and misses

more Over the summer break, while fiddling through data bases, reading and just being interested in things, I unearthed a few quirky bits and pieces about the Australian economy, people, sport

The Kouk's Outlook

more If you need a reliable, accurate, thought provoking and informed economic forecasting at both local and international levels, look no further. Informed by Stephen's exceptionally broad experience and background, his

Economist

more Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in Treasury, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist
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THE LATEST FROM THE KOUK

Inequality: The Facts and the Future

Mon, 22 Aug 2016

I was delighted to be involved in the preparation of the research report by the Chifley Research Centre – “Inequality: The Facts and the Future

The report is at this link: http://www.chifley.org.au/Inequality-the-facts-and-the-future 

It was released today and it outlines a range of critical issues relating to income and wealth inequality, but the key issues for me related to how reductions in inequality can be positive for economic growth.

Poor economic data is bad news for Australia

Fri, 19 Aug 2016

This article first appeared on the Yahoo 7 Finance web site at this address: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/poor-economic-data-is-bad-news-for-australia-024034705.html 

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Poor economic data is bad news for Australia

Entrenched low wages growth and on-going softness in the labour market are fundamental reasons why the retail sector is struggling to grow.

This week has seen data showing wages growth plummeting to record lows and the pace of employment growth continues to muddle along, with a huge skewing to part-time jobs as full-time jobs languish. It also means that the unemployment rate remains closer to 6 per cent than 5 per cent.

It is not good news.

A basic economic principle is that it is hard for consumers to spend extra money if they are not getting much of a pay rise or worse, if they are unemployed. On those measures, the average weekly earnings data, which measure the actual dollars and cents that go into people’s pay packets, rose just 2.1 per cent over the past year. At the same time, the economy has been stuck in the mud, with the unemployment rate remaining between 5.6 and 6.3 per cent for the last three years.

As a result, it is not surprising at all so see that over the past 7 months, retail sales have risen by a paltry 1.2 per cent or an average of less than 0.2 per cent a month.