A quick snapshot of the Australian economy from the latest RBA chart pack.
Disposable income growth has declined to almost zero and consumption is likely to follow. Else Savings will be depleted.
Residential building approvals are slowing, most noticeably in apartments, reflecting an oversupply.
Housing loan approvals for owner-occupiers are rising, fueled no doubt by State first home-buyer incentives. States do not want the party, especially the flow from stamp duties, to end. But loan approvals for investors are topping after an APRA crackdown on investor mortgages, especially interest-only loans.
The ratio of household debt to disposable income is precarious, and growing worse with each passing year.
House price growth continues at close to 10% a year, fueled by rising debt. When we refer to the “housing bubble” it is really a debt bubble driving housing prices. If debt growth slows so will housing prices.
Declining business investment, as a percentage of GDP, warns of slowing economic growth in the years ahead. It is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve productivity growth without continuous new investment and technology improvement.
Yet declining corporate bond spreads show no sign of increased lending risk.
Declining disposable income and consumption growth mean that voters are unlikely to be happy come next election. With each party trying to ride the populist wave, responsible economic management has taken a back seat. Throw in a housing bubble and declining business investment and the glass looks more than half-empty.
Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
~ Eric Hoffer