The Wild West ... the outback ... The new world of the 1800s was a time of true liberty. People stood on their own merits. They won or they lost and they reaped the rewards or swallowed the consequences. There were no cubicle dwelling civil servants hell bent on saving you from yourself. No planning permits no licenses no permissions no heritage overlay no bylaw no regulators no inspectors. And guess what ... it worked

This site is set up to provide a forum for a number of like minded professional economists to post and comment on contemporary issues. There are a number of regular contributors whose bios are made available on the site. Most if not all of these contributors use a pseudonym for the simple reason that they are practicing economists who must take into consideration the commercial implications of posting their opinions.

While some may feel that this is a bit of a gutless approach it is the only way we can ensure free and open discussion without jeopardising our paycheques.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Deteriorating current account balance not a positive sign (Lone Ranger)

The latest Balance of Payments numbers are out from the ABS and they do not tell a pretty story. The current account balance on goods and services (exports less imports) has deteriorated markedly in recent months. In of itself this is hardly a surprise, as Australia has generally had a services and goods trade deficit for decades.

Of most interest is the balance of trade for goods, which deteriorated from surpluses in the Dec '08 quarter ($3.2 billion) and Mar '09 quarter ($4 billion) to a deficit in the Jun '09 quarter (-$633 million). This is a concern because while our imports have decreased slightly from $64 billion in the Dec '08 quarter to $48 billion in the Jun '09 quarter, the value of goods exports have collapsed from $67 billion to $47 billion in the same period. While volumes have not much changed (yet), export prices for coal and minerals are way down, and this at a time where China has been stockpiling and, if anything, fuelling demand.

This begs the question - is Australia likely to have a "recovery" at a time of falling commodity prices and, potentially, export volumes if demand remains weak? These statistics are not those of an economy poised for growth and we should be alarmed about what is says about the state of our key export markets. The fun may be just beginning.


Post a Comment