The Lucky Country Holding Up Pretty Well

The Australian economy performed better than expected in 2015. The mining boom ended around four years ago and yet the Australian economy has still not fallen into the recession that many feared, with non-mining activity helping the economy continue to grow. In fact at 3% GDP growth through 2015, Australian was a star performer compared to the US with 1.9%, the Eurozone with 1.5% and Japan with 0.5%. This note looks at the outlook and what it means for investors.

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Global Politics In The Year Of The Monkey

As if the worry list for investors isn’t already long enough – with emerging markets, China, oil, the Fed – politics (or what some call geopolitics because it sounds better) is also figuring large this year as an issue for investors to keep an eye. High on the list worth watching are the US presidential election, a vote on whether Britain will stay or leave the European Union (“Brexit”), the rise of populism in Europe, tensions in the South China Sea, tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and of course an election in Australia. This note takes a look at each.

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The Plunging Oil Price – Why And What It Means

Our view on the financial market turmoil has been covered in the last two Oliver’s Insights – except to add that central banks are now sounding more dovish. This started with the ECB which is now expected to ease at its March meeting and is also evident from the Fed which last night was less positive on the growth outlook and indicated it was monitoring recent economic and financial developments. The probability of a March Fed hike is now just 20% and rather than four Fed rate hikes this year I see only one or none. The Reserve Bank of NZ has also turned more dovish and I expect the RBA to do the same.

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2016 – A List Of Lists Regarding The Macro Investment Outlook

2015 saw subdued returns for diversified investors as the global economy continued to grow and monetary conditions remained easy, but worries about deflation, plunging commodity prices, fears of an emerging market crisis led by China and uncertainty around the Fed’s first interest rate hike after seven years with near zero interest rates along with continued soft growth in Australia, saw volatile and soft returns from share markets. Balanced super funds had returns of around 5%, which was not disastrous given that returns have averaged 10.1% pa over the last three years, but still disappointing. 2016 has started with many of the same fears seen in 2015. This note provides a summary of key insights on the global economic and investment outlook in simple point form.

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A Rough Start To The Year

2016 has started much where 2015 left off with basically the same worries driving another bout of share market falls. Geopolitical concerns have played a role but the main issues are uncertainty regarding the Chinese economy, wariness about the Fed raising interest rates and the impact of a rising US dollar and falling Chinese Renminbi.

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