We started the second half of 2013 with the economy appearing to have some momentum behind it. Since then however, consumer and business confidence has dipped a little. Nevertheless, overall conditions remain positive. Despite these positive noises, the labour market conditions remain somewhat erratic and September quarter labour market results, released on 6 November, are unlikely to be as positive as many are hoping.
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Labour market indicators
The simple answer is that in September quarter there was an increase in the unemployed on the number in June quarter 2012 because the economy created too few jobs.
In February 2014, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released data on the Australian employment and unemployment for the January 2014 month.
Australian GDP and unemployment data for the June 2012 quarter reveals that, overall, the Australian economy continues to grow strongly. But, the fact that the Reserve Bank of Australia has been lowering the Official Cash Rate throughout 2012 is an indicator that the RBA is worried that this growth will not continue without some help.
The refinancing rate in the Eurozone was held steady at 4% in September, in line with decisions by monetary authorities in most major economies. This was to counter the jitters caused by the subprime debacle. This was in an environment, where, just weeks before the 6 September meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB), most economists had been predicting a 25 basis point rise.
Employment growth continues to fall. It dropped from 43,000 a year ago to just 12,000 in the 12 months to June 2012. That 12,000 increase is nowhere near enough to employ the increase in the number of people who want to work. Even this meagre employment increase could well become negative in the next six months if the trend over the last year continues.