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Australian economy


With unemployment at a 48-year low of 3.5 per cent, and with the number of jobseekers level pegging the number of job vacancies.

Migration the right fix for worker shortages

Increasing immigration is not a substitute for training more Australians. But it’s what is needed now to alleviate the crippling migrant-deprived tightness of the labour market.

  • 1 hr ago
  • The AFR View
Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy at Parliament House in Canberra.

How should we judge Albanese Labor on the economy?

By the next election, Australians should know whether Labor is a safe pair of hands. But what would it take to deliver a truly superior economic performance?

  • Richard Holden


Greens leader Adam Bandt.

Greens open to backing Labor’s 43pc emission target

After initially labelling Labor’s target “weak”, Adam Bandt’s indication he is open to backing it came after several environmental groups called on the party not to stand in the way of the legislation.

  • Ronald Mizen and Pete Ker

Calls for budget savings to offset COVID-19 payments

Anthony Albanese’s decision to restore the $750 pandemic leave payment before a spike in COVID-19 omicron cases should be offset by budget savings, says economist Chris Richardson.

  • Ronald Mizen
Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate economist, at Columbia University in New York.

How a Nobel laureate ruffled a few feathers in Australia

Joseph Stiglitz has never been afraid of expressing heterodox views about economics that leave mainstream thinkers perplexed – his trip here is no different.

  • Ronald Mizen
Shares will either plunge 12 per cent or jump 32 per cent, say S&P 500 strategists tracked by Bloomberg.

Fear makes chaos the market’s rational base case

Shares are either poised to plunge further or soar a whopping 30 per cent, depending on who you ask. The chances are that no one is right.

  • Lu Wang and Denitsa Tsekova

This Month

CBA tips two more double “business as usual” interest rate rises in August and Septemner.

Brace for two more back-to-back 0.5pc rate rises: CBA

The country’s largest lender is tipping the Reserve Bank will push the official interest rate to 2.6 per cent by year’s end.

  • Ronald Mizen
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is facing a very challenging set of economic circumstances.

Why the jobs boom is cold comfort for mortgage holders

Australia’s labour market is running white-hot. But with employment success comes pressure to raise interest rates, and the country is also facing a skills crisis.

  • Ronald Mizen
Treasurer Jim Chalmers with Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe and Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das at the G20 meeting.

Chalmers lashes Russia’s ‘illegal and immoral aggression’ at G20

Addressing a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Bali, Dr Chalmers said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a major obstacle to the group’s goals.

  • Ronald Mizen
We have to confront the reality that we no longer have affordable housing for immigrants.

Letters of 15 July 2022: Housing is the missing piece

Immigration, housing, skills shortage, inflation, recession, COVID, Liberals, Labor

Workers at Sydney Football Stadium.

Roaring jobs to spur interest rate rises

Stunning June jobs data all but guarantees the Reserve Bank of Australia will lift the official interest rate by 0.5 percentage points for a third straight month to 1.85 per cent in August, with some economists even tipping a 0.75 percentage point increase.

  • Updated
  • Ronald Mizen
Fed boss Jerome Powell and RBA governor Philip Lowe are both expected to keep raising rates.

White-hot jobs market risks bigger RBA rate rises

Unemployment hit a fresh 48-year low 3.5 per cent in June, and almost 55,000 fewer people were out of work in May – but success is a double-edged sword.

  • Ronald Mizen
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva: “The outlook remains extremely uncertain.”

Do whatever it takes to get inflation under control: IMF

The IMF says countries must do everything in their power to temper high inflation and warned of destructive wage-price spirals and growing risks of recession.

  • Ronald Mizen
Barrenjoey chief economist Jo Masters.

Business, consumer confidence slump on inflation and rate rises

Growing inflation and the Reserve Bank’s push to normalise interest rates has sparked a slump in business and consumer confidence despite strong spending and forward orders.

  • Ronald Mizen
Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas.

Appetite for COVID-19 rules wanes

Victoria has rejected medical advice to reimpose mask mandates and the federal government will scrap free rapid antigen tests.

  • Natasha Boddy, Gus McCubbing and AAP
M&A activity and demand from government clients drove demand for consulting work last year.

Consulting market rebounds but still below pre-COVID size

The Australian consulting market grew by more than 10 per cent to be worth $US5.2 billion ($7.6 billion) last year.

  • Edmund Tadros
People are jack of credit cards and keen to shift to a less onerous form of BNPL.

Buy now, pay later regulation inches closer

The booming sector will be treated as credit, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones says, paving the way for tighter rules.

  • Ronald Mizen and Ayesha de Kretser
Continued pain: Building material cost inflation may be past its worst but energy costs are now a growing threat to the industry.

Energy adds to builders’ woes as costs rise the fastest in 20 years

Construction cost inflation is spreading beyond materials more widely and one key input - energy - now has the industry even more worried.

  • Michael Bleby

Construction sector prays for a soft landing

As the Reserve Bank of Australia pushes ahead with its inflation-fighting interest rate rises, home builders are already feeling the pinch from rising costs.

  • Ronald Mizen
The economy is still at the mercy of shopping momentum.

Letters of 8 July 2022: Stagflation defying economists

Interest rate, RBA, inflation, recession, mortgage, fixed deposit, China, diplomacy, Anthony Albanese, Cheng Lei