Westpac Economics' weekly update

Elliot Clarke


This week, dwelling approvals; the trade balance; and (after the weekly update was recorded) retail sales were the focus. In May, dwelling approvals beat expectations; high rise approvals drove the result and, unsurprisingly, activity was concentrated in NSW and Vic. A further positive from this report was that we saw additional gains for renovation work which, after three poor years, is up around 17%yr. In contrast, the May trade data disappointed, with a deficit of $2.8bn recorded. The monthly data is volatile, but the declining terms of trade is clearly having a material effect. Net exports look as though they will be neutral for growth in Q2 versus a 0.5ppt add in Q1. Finally, retail sales also disappointed in May, despite the rate cut. While June will likely be boosted by the Budget's investment measures, Q2 retail will be soft. Offshore, US payrolls were released early. The detail of the report was mixed, but it broadly supports a Sept start to normalisation. All eyes are now on Greece. RBA and labour force survey key next week.

Elliot Clarke
Elliot Clarke
Senior Economist

An Economist based in Sydney Australia with a particular interest in macro-financial analysis of the Australian and global economy. Having spent a number of years with the Reserve Bank of Australia and Westpac Economics, monetary policy, the...


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