I always know when there’s a run of good news, because Wayne Swans office starts issuing news releases. One release you won’t read from Wayne Swan is that the Australian economy is forecast to stall in the second half of 2012.
Perhaps he can be forgiven, as lounging around in Los Cabos, he’s a long way from Australia. He would be enjoying the beach, except that the worlds’ politicians have developed a phobia against being photographed in any situation with a beach or palm tree behind it, anxious not to be seen as enjoying a holiday while Europe sinks. At the G20 Summit, politicians are doing what they do best, generating hot air, blaming someone (anyone) else for the worlds troubles, and promising another summit soon, but not actually solving anything.
Meanwhile, America is on hold as it awaits an anticipated announcement of further QE easing by the Fed tonight.
That Westpac report:
“The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was at 0.2 per cent in April, well below its long-term average of 2.6 per cent.
“The Leading Index is pointing to a sharp slowdown over the second half of this year,” Westpac Senior Economist Matthew Hassan said in a statement today.”
Coming straight after a strong economic figure, Wayne Swan won’t be happy about that one. Meanwhile, the new Carbon Tax is to increase power bills, not that the government is admitting that. But at least petrol prices are falling dramatically, with my local radio station 6IX busy tracking the decline in prices from around $1.55 to maybe $1.25 a litre soon. Not so good for our producers but finally a result for consumers.