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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 is 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, his role as Chief Economist of Citibank and Former Senior Economic Advisor to the Australian Prime Minister.

When it comes to the economy, Stephen continues to cover the big issues. He does so independently, without the constraints of many of the bank economists who are limited by what they can say. Stephen’s views are presented without fear or favour.

Stephen is the go-to economist for many businesses, investors, fund managers and the media. He is a regular contributor to Yahoo Finance and appears on television including the ABC, The Project and Sky and is regularly called upon to contribute to radio interviews across the country.

As a keynote speaker and panellist Stephen is asked 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.

Independent. Impartial. Entertaining

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Stephen Koukoulas - Leading Edge 2022
7NEWS Sydney - May 2022
The Business | ABC News
Unemployment inflation cash rate

Economic Sustainability

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 is often driving the debate on housing, consumer spending, investment strategies, interest rates and budget policy. This month we got his thoughts on economic sustainability. Read more +

What are the impacts of the Housing Cycle?

Housing is a dominant issue for the Australian economy, and a dominant issue for most of us individuals - we love talking about house prices. Economist Stephen Koukoulas certainly knows about the housing cycle and provides insights on its impact on the Australian economy, your business, and your investments Read more +

Economic Security for Women

Stephen Koukoulas dives into the heart of policy reforms and their application in closing pay gaps between men and women. He explores key economic issues such as superannuation, childcare, education and training. There is a need for economic policies that increase pay rates and balance pay rates for roles filed by both men and women. Stephen Koukoulas also calls for the increase in superannuation, and the provision of childcare support. Read more +

The farm sector and economic recovery

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 - and in this video he notes that the farm sector has been one of the hidden stars of the economic recovery from the 2020 COVID recession. It's a good news story. Read more +

House prices: It’s all about supply and demand

The housing sector has, so far, been remarkably resilient in the wake of the recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. This appears to be linked to the mortgage repayment holidays, low-interest rates and JobKeeper. Unless the economy can snap-back quickly in 2021, a resumption of the house price weakness could be just around the corner. What will this mean for you, your business and investment strategy? Read more +

Relaxed Lending and Superannuation in the Covid Recession

COVID-19 has sparked massive changes in banking and finance, not least because of the deep recession impacting the economy. Among the changes that have been witnessed in finance, the so-called responsible lending laws have been relaxed to make it easier for a borrower to get a loan. In addition, around $35 billion has been withdrawn from superannuation accounts as the government has encouraged people to pull out cash from their superannuation savings to cover the costs of being unemployed or working fewer hours during the COVID-19 recession. Read more +

The Sustainability of Superannuation

Anyone can have a ‘good time’ if they borrow and spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, but as we all know, such action is not sustainable. It cannot go on forever given that one day the money will run out and the debt will have to be repaid. Our expert economist and social commentator Stephen Koukoulas explores the question of how sustainable is our super with an aging population. Read more +

The housing cycle

Things are brewing in the housing market: Having been hit hard under the weight of a property glut, record low wages growth, tighter credit from the banks and the Reserve Bank refusing to cut interest rates despite troubling economic conditions, house prices around the bulk of Australia fell sharply from around the middle of 2017 through to the middle of 2019. Read more +

How the election can impact the economy

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.  Read more +

The RBA and the Election

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? Read more +

Australia's Housing Market Wall

The housing market has hit the wall. After years of unrelenting strength, house prices are dropping. Not by much, at this stage, but the heat in the Sydney market in particular, has suddenly turned cold. The fascinating and scary thing is that the price falls are increasingly widespread. Read more +

The Australian economy remains in good shape.

Calls of housing crashes, banking busts and general gloom will be wrong again. Read more +

The housing downturn – what’s it mean for you and the economy?

The housing market has peaked with prices no longer growing. At the same time, auction clearance rates are lower and a solid pipeline of new supply – particularly apartments – will soon flood the market in a number of cities and regions. The big question for business and individuals - how severe will the downturn be and what does it mean for the economy? Read more +

What's Ahead for Australia

We know the good times are over – the only questions are how long and how deep the weakness will be? Stephen Koukoulas provides an economic projection for the future. Read more +

What's Hot in The Economy?

As we begin to wrap up another year, we asked one of Australia's premier and favourite economists Stephen Koukoulas for his fascinating take on 'What's HOT in the economy?' More than qualified to comment as former Senior Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Gillard, and with over 25 years as a Chief Economist, 2016 looks set to bring some positives with consumer spending and tourism. Other areas of the economy have a more tumultuous outlook... Read more +

Grow Your Wealth

In this extract from his new book, Myth Busting Economics, Stephen Koukoulas discusses housing affordability and the difficulty of buying your first home or flat. A pain point especially for young Australians, Stephen shares how buying a live-in house with a 10 year timeframe in mind is a smart investment, provides security and sets you up for life. Read more +

Your Economy In 2015

What will 2015 bring? It is time to think about your business, your personal financial plans and how trends in the economy might impact you in 2015. Without understanding the intricacies of the economy, including what sectors will be strong, where interest rates might be going, what will happen to the Australian dollar or housing or consumer spending, there is a risk that an opportunity will be missed. Read more +

What's To Come In 2015?

As 2014 draws to a close, it is time to think about your business, your personal financial plans and how trends in the economy might impact you in 2015. Without understanding the intricacies of the economy, including what sectors will be strong, where interest rates might be going, what will happen to the Australian dollar or housing or consumer spending, there is a risk that an opportunity will be missed. Read more +

The Job Market Is On The Up!

The Australian economy is creating jobs again. The big questions are where? How many? And will it last? Before we get to those sorts of specifics, it should go without saying, but the best thing to generate jobs and lower the unemployment rate is a growing economy. Read more +

What The Budget Means For You

Budget, Budget, Budget. That is the word occupying the minds of economist, CEOs, parents, working mums and students alike. But as the results from the commission audit are released, Stephen Koukoulas gives us an insight into just how the government will come up with these figures and his take on what this means for the average Australian. In light of the humbug of the 'budget never returning to surplus unless we cut the tripe out of spending', I though it interesting to revisit the sensitivity of budget forecasting to small changes to the economic parameters. Read more +

Is Now The Time To Buy?

House prices are moving into very dangerous territory. They are rising so fast and are moving to a point where there is a very real risk of a situation that spills over to poor borrowing decisions, relaxed lending standards and financial market malaise that would threaten to end Australia’s multi-decade economic expansion. Read more +

Australia By Numbers

There is a very long held assumption that economics is a bunch of very serious people talking about very serious, and dare I say boring, things. But I’m here to prove that just isn’t true! Read more +

Solid Growth for the Finance Sector

Australia’s finance sector is on track for several more years of solid growth... Read more +

You Can Buy Your First Home!

Stephen Koukoulas is one of Australia’s most respected economists. His background covers the spectrum of economic insight - from his role as Chief Economist of Citibank to Senior Economic Advisor to the Australian Prime Minister. In his latest article Stephen argues against the widely held belief that first homebuyers are being priced out of the market, showing us (and Bridie at The Guardian) that with a little frugality and some more realistic expectations, your first home isn’t just a dream. Read more +

Your Money in 2014

As is normal at this time if the year, economists are pretty much compelled to outline their main themes for the economy and markets in the year ahead. I am not different so here we go. Read more +

What's in store for tourism in 2014?

The tourism industry has recently gone through tough times but there are some encouraging signs emerging that 2014 will be a better one for the industry. Read more +
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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