Stephen Koukoulas

Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in government, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist for two major banks and as economic advisor to the Prime...

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Will falling house prices trigger the next Aussie recession?

Stephen Koukoulas

House prices are falling, auction clearance rates continue to drop and there is a such sharp lift in the number of properties for sale that, for the moment, no one is willing to buy at the given asking price. Show More

residential property australian economy Australian housing

Trump could cause the next global recession

Stephen Koukoulas

The Trump trade wars threaten the global economy. This is not an exaggeration or headline-grabbing claim, but an economic slump based on a US-inspired global trade war is a distinct and growing possibility as it would dislocate global trade flows, production chains and bottom line economic growth. Show More

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Sharp fall for the Aussie as US bond yields pass Australian bond yields?

Stephen Koukoulas

US bond yields are rising more quickly than the equivalent Australian yields. The 10 year government bond in the US is now yielding 2.71 percent, just 14 basis points below the Australian 10-year bond and if the recent trends in the relative economic fundamentals of the two countries is sustained,... Show More

currency bonds rates currecny

House prices are falling... Be careful what you wish for, RBA

Stephen Koukoulas

The recent house price data from Corelogic are showing further falls in house prices. The falls are, disconcertingly, most evident in Sydney where prices have dropped 0.5 per cent so far in January, which brings the aggregate fall since the September 2017 peak to a chunky 2.9 per cent. This... Show More

rba housing residential property Stephen Koukoulas corelogic

Why the RBA is wrong, wrong, wrong...

Stephen Koukoulas

The latest Statement on Monetary Policy has confirmed the failure of the Reserve Bank of Australia to implement monetary policy settings that are consistent with its inflation target and objective of full employment. Show More

rba rates inflatoin

Out of property and into stocks

Stephen Koukoulas

There seems to be a theme developing in the Australian market at the moment. We have further evidence of a cooling in the housing market, and a coincidental lift in the value of the ASX hinting that those with money to invest are avoiding the ultra-expensive, low yielding housing market,... Show More

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Spring carnival form guide: Political and economic edition...

Stephen Koukoulas

The spring carnival is in full swing and it’s time to turn on the lights and examine the political and economic form guide. My tip is "Uncertainty", which seems to have the best track record in politics and economics. So here’s my take on the rest of the runners… Show More

politics housing economics spring carnival

The truth about our debt

Stephen Koukoulas

Much is being made of the record level of household debt in Australia. The media is full of stories screaming about the risks of debt for the economy. Here I look at the truth about our debt. Show More

debt inflation housing rates macro

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The end is (nearly) nigh...

Stephen Koukoulas

The recent Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations survey confirmed a softening in business expectations for the economy into the second half of 2017. As a summary of the survey findings, as Australia grabs the world record for uninterrupted economic growth, the signs are mainly pointing downwards. Business performance for the... Show More

House prices slump: The Straw that breaks the economy’s back?

Stephen Koukoulas

Will a slump in house prices be the straw that breaks the economy’s back and be the trigger for an economic hard landing in Australia? Probably no, but it is a question that will likely dominate the news over the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. Show More

inflation rba dollar residential property rates

Morrison has donned rose tinted glasses

Stephen Koukoulas

Morrison is hoping that the economy will miraculously pick up, leading to a surge in tax revenue which feeds into the estimate of a return to budget surplus in 2020-21. Suffice to say, any shortfall in what would be a strong performance in the economy will lead to yet another... Show More

iron ore retail housing federal budget macro economics

Why the Aussie dollar is flying high

Stephen Koukoulas

The Australian dollar has been rising strongly over the past six months and not just against the US dollar where this morning it is hovering just under 78 cents. The Aussie dollar is also buying over 0.72 euros, the highest level it has been since early 2015 and is up... Show More

aud macroeconomics Longform

Sell US stocks – IMHO

Stephen Koukoulas

I am going to sell both Dow futures (hopefully around 20,080) and S&P500 futures (at around 2,293). This new trade to be instigated at or near open on Monday 30 January and is based on my view and is not investment advice in any way. Please contact your financial advisor... Show More

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My 2017 forecast – Sell most things

Stephen Koukoulas

It’s that time of the year – making the calls for the year ahead for the economy and financial markets. Key themes for the year include; ongoing sluggish growth in Australia with house prices set to weaken markedly, possibly fall. US (and most global) stock markets to fall, perhaps quite... Show More

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Banning $100 notes? Brown paper bags? Burglar masks?

Stephen Koukoulas

It really is the silly season. The government is thinking that it might be able to fix the budget deficit problem by abolishing $100 notes. Sure, this is an exaggeration, but it is at least looking into the issues of cracking down of the cash economy and crime with the... Show More

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2016: A Most Reasonable Year for the Economy

Stephen Koukoulas

The Australian economy is in reasonable shape as 2016 draws to a close. Real GDP growth is around three per cent, inflation is 1.5 percent while the unemployment rate is hovering near 5.75 percent. To be sure, it would be desirable if growth was a little stronger and unemployment lower,... Show More

inflation unemployment australian economy

A few worrying facts on employment

Stephen Koukoulas

The recent labour market data threw up a few disconcerting facts about the economy. Since the July 2016 election, employment has fallen by 25,650 people despite growth of over 70,000 in the working age population. The Coalition government plan for 1 million jobs in 5 years is in tatters. Since... Show More

australian economy Employment data

A further update on that 'Sell Everything' call...

Stephen Koukoulas

With just two months to go to assess the absurd forecast from RBS analyst Andrew Roberts at the start of the year to “sell everything”, it gives me little pleasure to note that his forecast continues to be humiliatingly wrong. If Roberts has any clients left, they would be reeling... Show More

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Is the Aussie economy back on track for growth?

Stephen Koukoulas

The interest rate cutting cycle appears to be over. This is not because inflation is accelerating – on the contrary, inflation remains low and looks like staying low for some time. Rather, interest rates are on hold is because the RBA is looking at a range of indicators that are... Show More

australian economy Australian Interest Rates

Could resources get the economy pumping?

Stephen Koukoulas

The commodity price cycle is turning into a major upside risk to the Australian economy into 2017. Since the low point at the start of 2016, in US dollar terms, the iron ore price has risen 60 per cent, coking coal is up over 100 percent, thermal coal up 45... Show More

commodities australian economy

True: It is more on a protest or expose against the extreme, sensationalist 'forecasts' that get huge coverage and no one ever back-checks the result. Housing crash, recession looms etc etc. Different to making a call and being wrong. We all do that every week and my bank account lives and dies by that. Cheers

On A further update on that 'Sell Everything' call... -