Economy coasting along according to latest figures


Producer prices rose just 0.5% in the December quarter, for an annual rate of 0.7%, confirming that price pressures remain very subdued.

Trade price data indicated that the terms of trade surged in the December quarter. 


Export prices jumped 12.4%, reflecting a surge in prices of mostly commodity-based products. The increase was largely anticipated reflecting the rebound in commodity prices over the quarter and will provide a significant boost to incomes. Import prices were subdued, edging up 0.2% in the quarter.

Share Markets:

The US stockmarket softened on Friday night as disappointing earnings dampened investor enthusiasm. The Dow was unchanged, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% and the Nasdaq lifted 0.1%.

Interest Rates:

US government bond yields fell after the release of US GDP and durable goods orders data, which disappointed investors.

The yield on the US 10-year bond fell 2 basis points to 2.48%. The yield on the US 2-year bond yield fell 1 basis point to 1.22%.

Foreign Exchange: 

The US dollar index (weighted against a basket of currencies) finished little changed from Friday morning, after falling earlier in response to the US economic data.

EUR/USD rose from 1.0658 to 1.0725, to currently trade just below that level, at around 1.0719. USD/JPY ranged between 114.39 and 115.38.

AUD/USD rose from 0.7512 to 0.7573 and is trading around 0.7559 at the time of writing. NZD/USD rose from 0.7232 to 0.7285. AUD/NZD ranged between 1.0369 and 1.0410.


The oil price edged lower amid speculation increased US drilling will increase the global oil supply. The oil price fell US$0.60 to US$53.20 per barrel.

United States: 

GDP growth was weaker than expected in Q4, rising by an annualised pace of 1.9%.

This followed annualised growth of 3.5% in Q3. In Q4, consumer spending rose by 2.5% and residential building investment and business investment gained.

Private domestic demand increased by 2.8% in Q4. After a sharp gain in Q3, a plunge in soybean exports weighed on GDP growth in Q4. The decline in exports in Q4 was the largest since Q1 2015.

Durable goods orders fell by 0.4% in December, defying consensus expectations for a reasonable lift of 2.5%.  This followed a downwardly revised decline of 4.8% in November (previously reported as a 4.5% fall.)

Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose by 0.5% in December, following an increase of 1.0% in November.

Consumer sentiment edged up to 98.5 in the final reading for January, from a preliminary estimate of 98.1 according to the University of Michigan measure. This followed an increase in consumer sentiment to 98.2 in December.

University of Michigan inflation expectations for 5-10yrs ahead rose from December's 2.3% record low to 2.6%.

GROW UP DION: Man runs from police during drunken encounter

Premium Content GROW UP DION: Man runs from police during drunken encounter

A man found himself running away from police through the streets of Dalby after...

Supermarket warning: Fruit, veggie prices soar 30%

Premium Content Supermarket warning: Fruit, veggie prices soar 30%

Fruit and vegetable prices to soar as farm labour crisis bites

Dad jailed 15 years for horrific rape of daughters

Premium Content Dad jailed 15 years for horrific rape of daughters

Kingaroy dad threatened to kill family if daughters spoke