Plain English Blog

Ken Henry and the double dip

Posted 25th August 2009 Is it just me or is this the recession the horticulturalists had to have? There’s the green shoots, there’s the yellow weeds in the green shoots and of course there’s the woods that we are not out of yet. The economy had been a verdant rolling pasture of budding economic data until the other day when Australian Treasury Secretary Ken Henry entered the room. Dr Henry,… Continue reading →

To fix or not to fix?

Posted August 2009 To fix or not to fix? That is the question. Do you punt on interest rates going up and fix in your rate now or bet the house on rates staying low and stick with a variable loan? While I am not in the position to give advice, I have put together some background information to help you make up your own mind. First, some definitions. A… Continue reading →

The rise and rise of the $AUD

Posted July 2009 Wow what a ride! Over the past year the Aussie dollar’s journey has been tumultuous to say the least. At one point it lost over 38c over three and a half months, going from it highest ever spot at US98.49 cents in the middle of July 2008 to a five-and-a-half-year low of US60 cents in October 2008. People were talking US parity one day and US paucity… Continue reading →

NAB’s June Quarterly Business Survey

Posted July 2009 This week we’re delving into the meaty finance chunks of NAB’s June Quarterly Business Survey. Being a survey of around 1000 small to large-sized, non-farming companies, it’s probably Australia’s most comprehensive look at current business performance and how business feels about the future. Overall the news is good. The survey recorded its first quarterly improvement since the 2008 March quarter with improvements across trading and profits, employment… Continue reading →

What has inflation got to do with the price of fish?

Posted July 2009 Well quite a lot actually but more on that later. As some of you may already have read, Australia just recorded its lowest annual inflation rate since the end of 1999 and it’s the first time it’s gone below 2% annually since 2007. By way of background, inflation is measured by the Consumer Price Index, which measures the quarterly changes in the price of things – if… Continue reading →

What is a technical recession?

Recession? Moi? You wouldn’t usually think of Poland and South Korea when you think of classic Aussie bed fellow but think again. The recent release of the national figures that measure these sorts of thing has our economy growing by a faster-than-expected 0.4 per cent in the first three months of this year. This pulls us out of the jaws of technical recession and as such we join our new… Continue reading →