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Stephen Koukoulas

Stephen Koukoulas is one of Australia’s leading economic visionaries, past Chief Economist of Citibank and Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister.

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Few economists have both the global and local experience of Stephen Koukoulas. He is an economic thought leader in his role with his business, Market Economics. Stephen often driving the debate on housing, consumer spending, investment strategies, interest rates and budget policy. He does this by drawing on his unique background including his experience heading global research for TD in London, being Chief Economist of Citibank and a Senior Economic Advisor to the Australian Prime Minister.

When it comes to the economy, Stephen continues to cover most of the big issues.

Stephen is the go-to economist for many businesses, investors, fund managers and the media. His views and analysis are presented without fear or favour which is why he is such a sought after speaker.

As a speaker Stephen has been called upon to discuss the economy with audiences as diverse as the corporate world to school students - an affirmation of his ability to turn complex economic analysis into terms mere mortals can understand.

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My topics...

Economics matters. Understanding where the economy is and where it is going will drive profits, investment decisions and employment opportunities.

This is why the weekly run of economic news is so important. Keeping up to date with these trends, what they mean for interest rates, the Australian dollar and financial markets is the key to staying ahead of the pack. It is also where policy issues are so important. And this is not just interest rates, but what the government does on tax, spending and changes to rules and regulations.

And of course, the critical thing is what to do about this news, how it might impact your business, your clients and your personal finances.  

Housing – what is more important and topical for Australian consumers, investors and policy makers alike. And right now, house prices are falling, eating away at household wealth, risking a period of economic weakness in the year ahead. What’s more, housing construction is on the cusp of a slump, driven by a credit crunch and a free-fall in investor demand. What will drive the housing market over the next few years?

  1. House prices are falling – Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are all experiencing falls
  2. How long will it last and where is the bottom?
  3. What of new housing supply versus new demand?
  4. Do householders have so much debt that future borrowing will be limited?
  5. RBA interest rates – what are the effects if they move up or down?
  6. How are major City Councils and Regional Councils dealing with the housing market?
  7. Is there a crisis?
  8. When should I buy? Owner-occupiers versus investors.

Household spending accounts for over half of the economy – it is an important driver of whether times are good or bad. We consumers are able to shop around and with some significant global retailers ramping up their Australian operations, local retailers are under pressure to compete. Even more important, consumers are limiting new spending because wages growth is weak, household debt is high and wealth is being eroded by house price and stock market weakness.

  1. Retail spending is weak – consumers are holding back their spending
  2. Consumers are in trouble with low wages growth, record debt levels, low savings and a sharp loss of wealth as house prices and the stock market falls
  3. How long will the consumer slump last?
  4. What is needed to see a turnaround?
  5. How should retailers react to what are likely to be tough times in 2019?
  6. What of the role of new international entrants to the retail space?

Stephen delivered a White Paper to the Government outlining the issues associated with the financial security for women. You can read the document here: Boosting Economic Security for All Women

Stephen has presented his paper to a Parliamentary Committee and will be continue to advise the government on gender inequality and women’s financial security issues.

This very topical and relevant subject matter makes for a perfect additional Keynote Topic for Stephen in 2019. 

Stephen covered the following in the White Paper: 

  • The gender Pay Gap
  • Superannuation Gap
  • Child Care Access
  • Workforce Participation
  • Access to Education
  • What can be done at a government level to address these issues?
  • What can your business do to be a leader in this vital issue of equity?
  • What are other companies doing to detail with economic and financial security for women?

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Stephen Koukoulas - DARE Speaker Showcase 2013
Stephen Koukoulas
Stephen Koukoulas - No Recession says Koukoulas
Harry Dent & Stephen Koukoulas - The Economists

How the election can impact the economy

April 29th 2019

A Labor win in the election will mean big changes in a number of key policy areas – negative gearing rules will change as will refunds of franking credits and capital gains tax concessions.

This will have important implications for investors, financial planners and the economy. Investment in new dwellings is likely to get as boost, as will shares in companies not paying the previously appealing 100% fully franked dividends. 

The RBA and the Election

April 29th 2019

The election looms large and which ever side wins, they will be confronted with an economy growing below trend, low inflation and a global backdrop where conditions are weakening. 

Will the promises being made now need to be refined?

Stephen Koukoulas

December 5th 2018

Stephen is the go-to economist for many businesses, investors, fund managers and the media. His views and analysis are presented without fear or favour which is why he is such a sought after speaker.

Our world in charts

Our world in charts

An old proverb says: “a picture paints a thousand words” and in this book, the pictures are the charts. Our World in Charts has over 150 charts that depict a range of economic, market and social issues. There is a lot of information in each chart and each tells a story which authors Alan Kohler and Stephen Koukoulas explain.

Charts give context. An annual budget deficit of $30 billion sounds a lot, but relative to the size of the economy in 2017 it’s about the average of the last 40 years. A chart can show this. Ask a good economist, “how are you today?” and they should answer, “relative to what?” Charts show how the economy or markets are today relative to the past.

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