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General Economics

Australian economic and social overview - wealth, income, distribution, growth and human development.

Australian Exceptionalism

Australian economic and social overview - wealth, income, distribution, growth and human development.

Floods, prices and mortality

With the flood waters receding in Queensland – giving us our first real look at the size of the damage involved – it might be worth going back and having a bit of a squiz at what happened on the economic front immediately following the last big South East Qld flood drama in January 1974. […]

Cost Benefit delusions of the NBN

Hands up if you’re a media commentator that has demanded the government undertake a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of the National Broadband Network? Keep your hand up if you have any idea at all about how to actually do one? If we were in a large hall right now filled with the nations media chirpers […]

Want to double average income in 4 years?

For that’s exactly what happened in the WA town of Ravensthorpe between the 2003/04 and 2007/08 financial years – driven by the construction and opening of the BHP Ravensthorpe nickel mine. Sadly for the residents of Ravensthorpe, the mine was mothballed shortly after opening as a result of weak nickel prices – but it highlights […]

Lateral Economics – Stimulus partially pays for itself

Yesterday, Lateral Economics released a piece of research that looked at some of the dynamics of the stimulus package as it flowed through the economy – particularly in terms of how that stimulus generated tax receipts for the government through the employment it supported, employment that wouldn’t have otherwise existed without the stimulus package. It’s […]

The most important chart in the budget

Tucked away in Budget Paper Number 1 is a fascinating little chart that is arguably the most politically important piece of data in the entire budget, as it justifies not just the very existence of the stimulus program and the political baggage that is coming with it, but also shows the likely consequences of the […]

Relatively Speaking, How Big was our Budget Deficit?

2.3% of GDP. But how big was it relative to our recent history? Here’s the underlying cash balance as a percentage of GDP for all Commonwealth budgets back to 1974/75. Red are the budgets Labor was responsible for, Blue for the Coalition. (click to expand) The 2008/09  deficit wasn’t that big, relatively speaking. Most of […]

Unemployment by Electorate

Here’s something to chew over for the weekend – let’s take the most detailed ABS Labour Force statistics available by geographic region from June 2009 and break that data down into three categories. 1. Where the derived unemployment rate has actually reduced since the last election (yes, as surprising as it might sound, such places […]

Has good ALP polling boosted the Australian Economy?

It’s only partially a tongue in cheek question. Newspoll has released their biannual poll on Living Standards that’s well worth a squiz – although The Oz seems to have ignored it for some reason. The poll was done over the weekend, so it has the same sample size of 1200 that we witnessed with the […]

Good News on the Unemployment Front

The headline numbers show the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate lifting from a revised 5.5% in April (revised up from 5.4%) to 5.7% in May. As we mentioned last time, the most important figure to watch was the new trend estimate for April – which came in at a revised 5.6% (with the May trend estimate […]