Stephen Koukoulas

Stephen Koukoulas

Stevens’ murky dollar premonitions

The RBA governor drew a link this week between falling terms of trade and a lower dollar, but omitted a number of factors that could potentially push it higher.

Budget complaints bark up the wrong tree

Any monkey with an excel spreadsheet can deliver a budget surplus. We must measure economic performance against GDP, inflation and unemployment – not debt, interest rates or the dollar.

Don't go slow Joe - cut now

If Joe Hockey can cut spending by just 1 per cent the country would save $4 billion. Let's hope he swings the axe on unnecessary expenditure of all kinds.

The topsy turvy approach to climate change

The Direct Action climate change strategy unusually uses payments as an incentive not to pollute. What if that theory were applied to other problems?

Glenn Stevens’ winning roast dinner

A mixed bag of inflation evens out to another win for the Reserve Bank. Wages look to be rising in real terms this year, and many common items are being priced lower.

The trouble with bolstering the RBA's reserves

Handing $8.8 billion to boost the RBA's coffers will cost taxpayers $350 million a year in interest. It is completely unnecessary.

Hurry up Hockey, and hold the riesling

A quarter of the Abbott government’s first term will be spent waiting for the budget and government spending audit. Surely some excesses can be cut sooner?

A dicey jobs print for the Fed

This morning's US data release shows the employment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008, despite another 148,000 jobs created in September. It's easy to see why monetary policy will remain loose.

Running of the market bulls

This stock market recovery is based on sounder fundamentals than the 2007 peaks. But it has a long way to run, and by the end of 2014 a 10 per cent rise could be on the cards.

A measuring stick for the shutdown's shock

A true read on the health of the US economy is unlikely before well into the new year, with the market prepared to discount most of the data set for release this week.

Hockey’s lenience lies in his debt ceiling

By looking to increase Australia’s debt ceiling by $100 billion, Joe Hockey is not pursuing the kind of budget restraint he promised during the election. It needn’t be that way.

The US remains in a fiscal pickle

Barack Obama emerged triumphant overnight, but the debt battle has done ongoing damage to the US recovery. And debt ceiling uncertainty will inevitably re-emerge within months.

Wait on the size of the RBA's bang

The Reserve Bank’s language is cheery, and failing a catastrophe indicates the next move should be a hike. GDP growth at 3.75 per cent in 2014 could also be on the cards.

First home buyers are not locked out

First home buyers are not being priced out of the market. In real terms prices are rising slower than elsewhere, and the current average loan repayments to income ratio is the best it's been in decades.

The Tea Party’s bitter Japanese flavour

If its budget deficit isn’t reined in, the US risks being unable to implement further stimulus when needed. Simple tax hikes are the next logical step – but the Tea Party isn’t budging.

The RBA's interest rate playbook

The RBA's economic charts highlight how reliant Australia has become on China. They also show an economy where most major indicators are generally pointing in the right direction.

Build it and growth will come

The RBA will be eyeing a continued pick-up in dwelling construction to not only help plug a hole in our transitioning economy but keep house prices in check.

The Republic of Crazy

At $US300 million a day and counting, the economic fallout from the US government shutdown could be just a taste of things to come if Republicans continue to hijack budgetary process.

Why 2014 will be the year of the rate hike

Interest rates will be left alone by the Reserve Bank board today. But get ready for hikes in 2014 when inflation rises and the labour market turns around.

No urgency in the budget emergency

The recently released budget outcome reveals a different economic landscape to what Joe Hockey described. For a start, it showed the largest year-to-year fall in the budget deficit ever.