Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Loose Money and The Aussie Surge

As I've stated before, Australia is:

A commodity driven economy that has a close proximity to one of the world's fastest growing / largest commodity importing economy (China).
Add (excess) liquidity in that importing country (per Marketwatch):
Chinese banks extended loans amounting to 18.5% of the full-year lending target in January, underpinning rapid growth in the money supply, while factory input costs and wholesale prices rose more than expected, according to the data.

The People's Bank of China said lending by the nation's banks totaled 1.39 trillion yuan ($203.5 billion) during the month, more than three times the 379.8 billion yuan extended in December. The figure was about the middle of a range expected in analysts' forecasts.
And you get some magical results (Bloomberg details the latest):
Australian employers added the most workers in more than three years in January, sending the currency surging on speculation the central bank will resume its record round of interest-rate increases.

The number of people employed rose 52,700 from December, more than three times the 15,000 median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The jobless rate fell to an 11-month low of 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today.

The biggest hiring boom in five years is increasing pressure on Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens to resume raising borrowing costs to prevent a surge in wages feeding inflation. Traders doubled bets the bank will raise the benchmark lending rate by a quarter point to 4 percent next month, adding to similar moves in December, November and October.

“It will concern the Reserve Bank that the unemployment rate has peaked at a very low rate,” said Helen Kevans, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Sydney. “Imagine what’s going to happen later this year” to inflation and wages when a forecast surge in mining investment intensifies, she said.


Thus, the remarkable fact that Australia never really suffered an employment downturn during what was a global economic crisis, especially relative to the rest of the developed world.

Source: ABS