Friday, June 19, 2009

Slow posting

My apologies for the absence of posts - other pressures. It will be another week before posting resumes.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Understanding global economic developments - introduction

This has been a remarkable few days.

On Tuesday 2 June the ABS released remarkably good balance of payments statistics suggesting that Australia's March quarter results would add 2.2% to growth for the quarter. The following day ABS released national account figures estimating that Australia's GDP had increased by 0.4% in the March quarter.

It is probably fair to say that the results took people a little by surprise. Coming on top of some other good stats, commentary was very positive. Then today the ABS released stats suggesting that Australia's balance of trade in goods and services in seasonally adjusted terms for April was negative $A91m, a turnaround of $A2,393m on a revised surplus in March 2009. With some other bad data, we had a sharp switch from positive to negative commentary.

Exactly the same thing type of thing happened in the run up to the release of the December national accounts. Some bad news led to negative commentary, then good trade figures reversed this, only to see negativity return when the national accounts showed negative growth. Mood swings have been so swift that positive and negative commentary over-lapped depending on print lags.

I am as prone as anyone else to be affected by changing data and the commentary on that data. I find that it has begun to create a fog in my mind, with the short term crowding out longer term trends and issues.

Looking back over the posts I have written over the last year or so, I don't think that I would vary much of my analysis in light of current events. I certainly wouldn't vary my analysis of underlying changes in management, public policy and public administration, nor my analysis of shifts in global structures that constitute shifts in global economic tectonic plates.

Over the last week or so in gaps in other things, I have been jotting down notes for some posts that might pull together some of this writing. A key aim is, like so much of my writing, to assist me to stand back from the current fog so that I can increase and test my own understanding of events.

I hope to publish the first post tomorrow.