Consumer confidence and interest rates

Consumer confidence and interest rates   Investors are looking for a sense of where interest rates are heading around the world. Consumer confidence is one of the best guides. Consumer spending is a key driver of between 50% and 70% of economic activity in developed economies like the US and Australia. How consumers feel is critically important to economic growth and the outlook for monetary policy. So what is consumer confidence telling us now? Americans …

How are Australia’s states and territories tracking?

How are Australia’s states and territories tracking? An end to the fall in mining investment is helping to stabilise growth in Australia’s mining states and territories (WA, Qld and NT to a lesser extent) while a slowing housing sector is starting to act as a drag on NSW and Vic. Tas is benefitting from a lift in population growth and housing “refugee” demand from Sydney and Melbourne. Growth in SA and the ACT has been …

How to be an ethical consumer and save money

How to be an ethical consumer and save money Want to use your spending power to make a difference? By shopping more ethically, you can do your bit and save money. Whether you want to change the world or just reduce your impact on it, it seems more and more of us are considering the provenance of what we buy and how it’s produced when making purchasing decisions. And the best news is that spending …

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk?

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk? Key points Household debt levels in Australia are high compared to other countries and still rising. The rise is not as bad as it looks because its been matched by rising wealth and debt servicing problems are low. However, this could change as interest rates rise and if home prices fall sharply. The trigger for major problems remains hard to see but its worth …