This morning the Australian Bureau of Statistics released released Australian retail sales figures for November 2009, up 1.4% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month, a very substantial increase.
The graph shows both trend and seasonally adjusted numbers since November 2007.
You can see the impact of the Australian Government's stimulus package in the seasonally adjusted estimates. The trend estimates flatten these out. What global financial crisis you might ask.
The ABS also released the trade figures for November.
My key concern here is the trend. You can see from the attached graph the way in which balance of trade on goods and services went positive when Australia needed it and then declined.
I have been monitoring this trend because I think that Australia's trade performance sets a key constraint on growth.
I was thinking over Christmas about global economic trends. My key concern remains my perception that the economic imbalances that triggered the global economic down turn remain and that, consequently, the recovery is still fragile.
This is before factoring in the effects of climate change.
In saying this, I do not want to get drawn into a debate on climate change. Here, and at the very least, we can say that actions by Governments to address climate change will have economic effects. Further, for planning purposes we at least need to consider what might happen in economic terms if the scientific projections are in any way correct.