Apr 182012

This is the pre-Budget, GM free grass fed, free range, Abbott proof, bumper version of the BISONs (Beautiful  Inspiring Set Of Numbers) as 18/4/12 – By The Finnigans

GOLDEN BISONs – Australia has the strongest economy in the developed world and it is expected to outperform all comers for at least the next two years, according to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF also forecasts Australia’s unemployment rate to remain low at 5.2 per cent in both 2012 and 2013. READ MORE

1. Interest rate will always be lower under Labor. Neither Howard or Fraser Govts had cash rate below 4.25% in 20 yrs of govt: today cash rate 4.25%. RBA is expected to cut by 0.25% next, if not 0.5%.

2. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Over 44,000 jobs created in March with unemployment rate steady at 5.2% for 8 months running Encouragingly, seasonally adjusted full-time employment rose by 15,800 in March 2012, while part-time employment increased by 28,200.The labour force participation rate also increased in March, by 0.2 percentage points to 65.4%.

3. PBS - THE biggest price cuts in the history of the nation’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will hit chemist shelves today, delivering big savings to families.Prices will be slashed on 1000 brands of 60 popular prescription medicines by up to $14 per script.Some of the most widely used medications, including scores of antibiotics, painkillers, antidepressants, cholesterol controllers, laxatives, blood pressure and heart drugs, will fall in price, thanks to a Gillard government move which brings drug costs into line with the market price.A 20-pack of heavy-duty painkiller Panadeine Forte will fall by up to $4.32, a course of antibiotic Augmentin Duo Forte will fall by up to $3.33, a month’s supply of anti-depressant Prozac will fall by a maximum of $3.35, and widely used cholesterol tablets Lopid will fall by up to $7.32 for a 60-pack. READ MORE

4. Skill Training - PM Gillard seals skills deal with States. State and territory leaders have agreed to support the Federal Government’s changes to funding for training skilled workers.The $1.75 billion packag will create 375,000 additional training places will be available over the next five years. READ MORE

5. More Income - On the average the household is taking home over $13,000 a year more – yes, in after tax dollars – than they were just 4 years ago. This clearly is much more than is being eaten away from higher prices for electricity, tobacco or lamb. READ MORE

6. MRRT Extra Super - Labor’s about helping those with most need – The MRRT will increase in superannuation from 9 to 12 per cent.For a 30-year-old on average earnings, these changes mean more than $100,000 extra in the pocket at retirement.From July 1, small businesses – whether they are run by sole traders or through companies, partnerships or trusts – will be able to immediately write off each and every asset they buy worth up to $6500. READ MORE

7. The Carbon Tax will help the punters:

- One million workers will no longer have to pay tax or lodge a tax return under a tripling of the tax-free threshold from $6000 to $18,000.to apply from July 1.

- Families already receiving payments under Family Tax Benefit A will be paid cash bonuses to compensate for the impact of the carbon tax from May 16 to May 29, with a small increase in fortnightly payments to follow.

- Single-income families receiving payments under Family Tax Benefit B will get up to $69 extra, plus up to $300 in additional supplement.

- Pensioners can expect to see their $250 bonuses, known as the Clean Energy Advance, to arrive from May 28 to June 8.

- Self-funded retirees who have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will get a $250 cash bonus from next month – or $190 for each member of a couple.

- Students receiving Austudy payments will receive payments over the period June 11 to June 22.

- $300-a-year tax cut for six million Australians earning $80,000 a year or less.


8. More Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - The latest figures on job vacancies and business confidence suggest sentiment has rebounded in Australian business circles.Official job vacancy figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that employers want to hire more new workers, with job vacancies rising by 0.7 per cent in February, a turnaround on the previous series of declines.The bi-annual survey of the views of more than 400 industry leaders found that confidence levels among mid-sized Australian businesses were climbing, and they were looking to expand by boosting spending and staffing in the next six months after sitting on their cash for the last six months.READ MORE

9. Did they say this? – In 2001, the Queensland vote closely followed a Coalition wipe-out in Western Australia, which prompted obituaries for the Howard government. The Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt got in a year early and told us Howard was ”the walking dead prime minister, even before the GST puts him out of his misery”. After the WA election, he reminded us of this ”not just to boast” but to underline the certainty of his reasons for declaring ”Howard is gone – barring something truly extraordinary”.

Michelle Grattan reported deep pessimism in Coalition ranks. ”I think the [federal] election’s lost,” said a
Liberal backbencher. ”It’s just a matter of the margin.” The Australian’s Paul Kelly wrote that ”within five short years” of Howard’s 1996 landslide, Labor could win a comfortable majority, supported by six state Labor governments. (Four state Coalition governments had fallen since 1998, with only South Australia to go. Sound familiar?) If the blue-ribbon seat of Ryan fell in a byelection, it would be ”proof that the malaise has corroded the foundations of the Liberal Party”. READ MORE

10. Happiness - Australia ninth happiest country in world – AUSTRALIA is ranked among the world’s top 10 happiest countries, albeit behind New Zealand.(Bugger them Sheeppen Shaggers). The World Happiness Report, released at a United Nations conference, places Australia in ninth position, with Denmark topping the list, followed by Finland, Norway, The Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. READ MORE

 11. New Car Sales - Australia new vehicle sales hit 22 months high in March – Sales of new motor vehicles in Australia climbed to their highest level in 22 months in March, data showed on Tuesday, a sign consumers still had the confidence to splash out on big ticket items. Government figures showed new vehicle sales rose 4 per cent in March to 89,694 – READ MORE

 12. Currency Deal - RBA signs $30b currency swap pact with China. The Reserve Bank said it had signed a bilateral local currency swap agreement with the People’s Bank of China (PBC).The central bank said the agreement allows for the exchange of local currencies between the two central banks of as much as $30 billion or 200 billion yuan. It is for an initial period of three years and can be activated by either party. READ MORE

13. NBN - Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who is overseeing the government’s $36 billion national broadband network (NBN) project, has received an award from a New York-based think tank. READ MORE

14. Impacts of the Carbon Price have been highly exaggerated:

- VICTORIANS will pay 8.5 per cent more for their electricity as a result of the carbon price – less than estimated by the federal government – according to research billed as the most thorough investigation of Australia’s climate change laws READ MORE

- The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today released its draft determination on the proposed average prices that regulated electricity retailers in NSW can charge residential and small business customers from 1 July 2012.The draft decision allows for an average price increase of 16% across NSW. IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall: NSW electricty price increase pw due to Carbon Price on electricity generators is $1.75 (Integral) $3.25 (EA) $3.66 (CE) READ MORE

- Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says the carbon tax will account for only $6 in every $100 of the average household electricity bill in 2012-13, based on government analysis of the latest report from the Australian Energy Market Commission, which advised the Council of Australian Governments about future price rises. That report said electricity prices would increase by another 37 per cent in the next two years.”The main reason for rising electricity prices is the over $40 billion in investment under way by electricity network businesses in upgrading the network of poles and wires across the country,” Combet tells Inquirer. READ MORE

15. Funding costs of banks are easing, says RBA - THE Reserve Bank has indicated wholesale funding costs of the banks were beginning to ease, despite the banking sector’s claims that elevated costs were continuing to crimp their profit margins. READ MORE

16. Housing – Non performing mortgage loans – % of total outstanding household mortgage loans – Aust 0.5%, Canada 0.5%, UK 2.1%, Spain 2.5%, Ireland 5.8% USA 7.8% (Source IMF)

 101 Economic Fundamental:

1. Unemployment 5.1% (Canada 7.5, EUROZONE Avg 9.3, UK 8.7, USA 8.3, Japan 4.1, NZ 6.6, China 4.1, India 9.4, Brazil 4.7. South Africa 25%, Singapore 1.9, South Korea 3.7)

2. Inflation 2%

3. GDP Growth 3.5% – The Australian economy is now around 7 per cent larger than it was prior to GFC Mark 1. By way of comparison, most developed countries have gone backward.

4. RBA Interest Rate – 4.25% – RBA Interest rate 4.25%, compared to 6.75% when Howard was voted out.

5. Current Govt Net Debt – 8.9%

6. Total Public Debt – 27% GDP (Canada 81%, EURO 97%, France 99%, Germany 84%, Japan 205%, UK 91%, USA 95%)

7. Trade Surplus $22.4 billion last financial year – easily the biggest surplus in raw terms for the past 40 years
of records compiled by the ABS

8. Sovereign Rating – Australia one of just 15 countries to hold the top AAA Rating from all Agencies

9. Currency – AUD/USD 1.04, AUD/UK 0.68 AUD/Euro 0.82 – The floating of AUD is the single most important economic reform introduced by Labor. It acts as a shock absorber to external economic conditions

10. Australia is in Asia, the growth engine averaging 6% and part of the Asian Century. It’s middle and aspiration class is expected to hit 800 millions by 2020. Double of USA+Europe.

11. NBN – One of the most advanced high speed Internet enabled network in the world. Australia’s first national wide, open access FTTP broadband network with minimum 93% coverage, capable of achieving 1 gigabit per second broadband speeds.

12. Australia is the richest country in the world according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s most recent
Global Wealth Report, the median wealth of Australians now is well over $200,000, ahead of Switzerland, 4 times USA.

13. Under Coalition spending grew by average of 3.7% per annum, under the current Labor spending growth is
averaging 1.5%

14. More people at work today than any time in our Nation’s history. In Jan 2012, 46,300 new jobs created for the month of which 12,300 full-time jobs and the Unemployment rate is now 5.1% from previous 5.2%

15. Australia net debt is expected to peak only at 8.9% in 2016 (MYEFO) – READ MORE

16. THE Gillard government’s reforms to financial advice will boost the retirement savings of Australian workers by $130 billion over 15 years

17. Retail turnover up 0.3% in January. (0.1% fall in December.) from ABS

18. Inflation measure hits two-year low, inflation gauge shows prices rose 0.1 per cent in February, taking the annual rate to 2 per cent  READ MORE

19. Our economy is up by 7.4 per cent on pre-GFC levels. Canada +3.5% USA & Germany +1%, UK -2.75%, Japan -3% Italy – 4.5% READ MORE

20. Australia’s GDP in 2011 was $1.444 trillion. Will be above $1.5 trillion next year

21. Since 2007 the ratio of net debt to GDP of the leading western economies has grown from 52% to 82%”(a swing of 30%). In Australia, minus 3.8% to 8.9%(a swing of 13%)

22. The 10 year government bond yield is now around 4.0% having recent hit an all time low of 3.65% – it was above 6% in late 2007 when the Coalition was in office

23. The size of government – taken as government spending – will fall from 26.0% of GDP in 2009-10 during GFC to 23.6% of GDP in 2012-13. The Howard government’s average government spending to GDP ratio was 24.2% of GDP.

24. The Tax to GDP ratio will rise from a 30 year low of 20.0% of GDP in 2010-11 and will reach 22.3% of GDP in 2012-13.The Tax to GDP ratio in the last Howard year was 23.7% and the average Tax to GDP ratio under Howard was 23.4% of GDP.

  102. Political Fundamental

1. “ALP best manager of money, history shows” – George Megalogenis READ MORE

2. No interest rise for the 14th consecutive month (last rise was Nov 2010) Vs 10 consecutive rises under

Howard/Costello. The lowest rate, since 1960, of 3% was in April 2009 under Labor. Lowest under Howard 4.25%,
Fraser 7.65%, Gorton 5.7%, McMahon 4.3%). Interest rates will always be lower under Labor.

3. “The Atlantic magazine named Gillard as one of its “2011 brave thinkers” for her resolute strength in pushing through a carbon tax. “Whether you see the move as politically expedient or as a principled course correction, there’s no denying the risk that it entails in a country where climate change is a wildly contentious issue,” writes Geoffrey Gagnon”

4. NEW Treasury analysis finds Mining played minor role during GFC, it says service industries such as retail –
which received a hefty boost from Kevin Rudd’s stimulus package – were crucial in sustaining the economy during its darkest days.

5. Wayne Swan – Treasurer of the Year 2011

6. PM Gillard solved #QANTAS dispute in 36 hrs, Hawke solved the Pilot Dispute in 1 month and Howard solved the Waterfront Dispute in 6 months.

7. How good are nations at keeping the promises made at G20 summits? – Australia NO: 1 – READ MORE

8. PM Julia Gillard elected & confirmed as PM with the greatest thumping winning margin in history 71-31 with one supporter away on leave, otherwise it will be 72-31

9. PM Gillard gets A-plus on International Women’s Day – Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been given the tick of approval by an executive leadership expert on International Women’s Day. READ MORE

10. Francis Fukuyama, the doyen of US Conservatives endorsed the #MRRT  READ MORE

11. MP Rob Oakeshott says “this parliament is working and I’m proud of it” – 300 bills passed

 103. Social Fundamental

1. Australian families depending on one breadwinner pay among the lowest amounts of tax in the world and have become better off under the Gillard Government – Natsem

2. The Herald/Lateral Economics Index of Australia’s Wellbeing rose 2.2 per cent in the quarter, outstripping GDP growth of 1 per cent. READ MORE

3. The number of people filling for bankruptcy in Australia has fallen by 16%.

4. Recently released IMF estimates show that Australians are the fifth richest people in the world, behind only
those living in Luxembourg, Qatar, Norway and Switzerland READ MORE

5. AUSTRALIA is second best – almost but not quite the greatest place in which to live, according to the latest
United Nations human development index. Norway pips us by a flared nostril. Australia scores 0.93 on a scale of 0 to 1, where 1 is the highest score possible. At 0.94, Norway’s margin over Australia is close to invisible

6. Ave weekly earning +4.7% in yr to Aug. 10 years of real wage gains.

7. Aust & Holland have the best pension systems in the world followed by Sweden, Swiss, Canada, UK READ MORE

8. Australia top destination for expats globally: HSBC – AUSTRALIA’S image of healthy outdoor living and reputation for a work-life balance has elevated it to the top destination for expatriates globally, according to a worldwide survey by HSBC.

9. THE Gillard government’s reforms to financial advice will boost the retirement savings of Australian workers by $130 billion over 15 years

10. From Mega: Costs of the Paretal Leave Scheme: The total cost of the government scheme is $1.4
billion in 2012-13, covering 126,000 families. The Coalition’s 2010 election policy document put the cost of the
Abbott scheme at $4.3bn in 2012-13. A professional woman on more than $150,000 a year would receive $75,000 from Abbott and nothing from Labor.  READ MORE

11. The Gillard Govt has committed more funding to urban public transport since 2007 than all Govts combined since Federation

12. #MRRT will ensure Australians get more Super from 9% to 12%. FIND OUT MORE

13. NAB chief economist just told insolvency conference media is over blowing carbon tax which only cuts 0.25% off GDP growth and clips 25k jobs

14. We are in Asia. Time to reform to meet Asia challenge, says former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn. March 22, 2012. FORMER World Bank president James Wolfensohn has warned that the world is not prepared for the global power shift from West to East. READ MORE

104. The Future

1. Business investment spending is expected to grow by 15 per cent this year and another 15 per cent next year. – Ross Gittin

2. Australia in good shape if another crisis hits, says IMF – 8/8/11

3. BHP Billiton $80B Olympic Dam copper/uranium/gold mine in South Australia creating 6000 jobs during a decade- long construction phase, 4000 ongoing jobs at the mine and 15,000 indirect jobs.This is despite the Resource Tax

4. The strength of the nation’s markets during the Global Financial Crisis was highlighted by the World Economic Forum, which in 2009 ranked Australia as the world’s second-best financial centre after the UK. Australia was the only country in the top 20 to improve its ranking.With around A$1.7 trillion in assets under management, Australia is the largest funds management market in Asia, and the fourth-largest in the world. Australia has one of the highest levels of managed funds per capita in the world, with total investment fund assets in Australia projected to reach A$7 trillion by 2028.

5. For dealmakers Down Under, 2011 will go down as a vintage year for inbound M&A activity, according to the latest data from Dealogic.So far this year, Australia has attracted a record US$59.9 billion of total inbound deals, already surpassing US$55 billion achieved in the whole of 2010, according to the data provider. READ MORE

6. The figures show September quarter spending on exploration for coal up 12 per cent to a new record high of $227 million, spending on iron ore exploration up 9 per cent to a new record high of $235 million, and spending on onshore petroleum exploration up 33 per cent to a new record high of $249 million.

7. The ABS figures follow Tuesday’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics forecast of record energy and minerals export earnings of $206 billion in 2012. If realised, they will boost government revenue, making its forecast surplus easier to attain. The bureau says capital expenditure by resource companies stands at a record high of $232 billion.

8. Bloomberg has done a survey and found that Australia is the 5th best and easiest place in the world to do
business after HK, Netherlands, USA and UK. READ MORE

9. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Australia is probably the best positioned of the developed countries to handle a further deterioration in the global economy. IMF Asia and Pacific region director Anoop Singh told a media briefing in Washington that the institution supports the Australian government’s plan to return the federal budget to surplus in 2012/13.

10. Manufacturing activity remained in positive territory in January 2012, according to the latest Australian
Industry Group. Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) is 51.6, readings above 50 indicate an
expansion in activity

11. Trade surplus up $366m in Dec to $1.7b. Total exports second highest monthly level on record at $27.7billion.

12. A SURGE of global demand for Australian government bonds has saved the federal government from issuing at least $10 billion in debt, cutting more than $500 million a year from its future interest bills.

13. The rate for Australian Government 10 year bonds (the “yield”) is at record low 3.75%

14. Amid the global economic turmoil and credit squeeze, Australia remains a gold standard country to invest in, says BHP Billiton boss Marius Kloppers, as BHP Billiton delivered a $US9.941 billion ($A9.23 billion) first-half profit.

15. Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe: business investment had jumped about 20 per cent in 2011, and the Reserve Bank expected “double-digit increases in business investment in each of the next couple of years,” he said.


17. Hiring intentions have reached their highest level in more than three years as an ANZ report shows the jobs market has posted solid growth for the second consecutive month.  READ MORE

18. New figures show Australia’s resources and energy exports predicted to reach a massive $225 billion in 2016-17 READ MORE

19. Australia leads the OECD pack in GDP forecasts – Mar 8th 2012, 20:24 by The Economist online. READ MORE 

20. The profits-based Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) for iron ore and coal will begin on July 1, 2012, and apply to all new and existing iron ore and coal projects. The Treasury estimates the tax will generate A$3.7 billion in fiscal 2012/13, A$3.8 billion in 2013/14 and A$3.1 billion in 2014/15.