Market Economics Managing Director and keynote Speaker Stephen Koukoulas spoke with Bloomberg Markets Asia regarding the RBA and the inflation surge. As a keynote speaker and panellist Stephen is often asked to discuss the economy with diverse audiences due to his ability to turn complex economic analysis into terms mere mortals can understand.
Australia’s dismal vaccination rate is undermining what was a great scorecard for the economy that emerged over the first half of 2021.
Since the start of 2021, the economic news was stunningly good. Not only relative to the forecasts and expectations of all economists, but in absolute terms with the unemployment rate falling, wages growth picking up, the stock market and house prices hitting record highs and business conditions and consumer sentiment tracking at or near record highs.
It has been obvious for many months that the Morrison government’s dithering, missteps and errors in obtaining enough COVID-19 vaccinations, was a huge risk to the health of Australians and was a major risk to the economic outlook.
The September labour force data show the impact of the recession on jobs, hours worked and unemployment. It is bad news. Depressing in many ways to realise that there are 937,400 Australians unemployed, a further 1,538,800 underemployed and that since the onset of Covid-19, the workforce participation rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points as people have given up looking for work.
Economist Stephen Koukoulas says the economy needs money poured into private sector pockets so they can spend, invest and most importantly hire.
“So I would be looking at policies that make sure the economy is growing strongly enough so that in a reasonable amount of time we get that unemployment rate back to where it was pre-Covid,” Mr Koukoulas told Sky News.
August’s unemployment rate came in below expectations at 6.8 per cent, largely propped up by wage subsidy schemes which mask the actual rate. “It was only ten months ago that it was five per cent, it’s difficult and a lot depends on how the health crisis goes. “But for here and now it’s about jobs.”
Market Economics’ Stephen Koukoulas says immigration intake has “slowed to a trickle” and with it much of the demand for new houses and infrastructure.
Colin James is one of those people that has spent his life exploring cultures, religions, philosophies and human psychology, which makes him uniquely qualified to speak on the subject of motivation and drivers.
In this essay Colin looks at the drivers of the "banking culture" in the wake of the royal commission, and considers how culture in the workplace is one of the driving forces of performance.