Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), and CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete Wargent is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"Pete's daily analysis is unputdownable" - Dr. Chris Caton, Chief Economist, BT Financial.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Westpac confidence surge

Confidence surge?

Westpac's Consumer Sentiment Index leapt by some 8 percent in February from 93.2 to 100.7.

This is the strongest reading since January 2014 and take the index back into positive territory (i.e. optimists outweighing pessimists), apparently buoyed on by an interest rate cut, a rising share market and the decline in fuel prices.


The "time to buy a dwelling index" jumped by 9.7 points to 125.8, while there was also a 6.7 percent jump in house price expectations.

In fact, there were a raft of stronger readings in February,


The headline result is not entirely convincing given the amount of uncertainty (the Reserve Bank used the words "uncertain" and "uncertainty" a couple of dozen times in its latest Statement in Monetary Policy) surrounding the economy, not to mention a leadership spill motion in the past week. 

Perhaps this implies that consumers would be untroubled by a change in Prime Minister.

Personally I think weekly consumer confidence gauges are overkill, and the monthly gauges have a better "rhythm" to them.

However the way the world is moving it's probably only a matter of time before Australia has weekly and then hourly confidence indices.

I am tinkering with the idea of setting up my own "champagne index" to record the number of folk up here quaffing the bubbles on Brisbane's Riverside. 

Monday, Tuesday...Queenslanders certainly don't appear shy about a six o'clock swill before heading home, no matter what day of the week.


---

While on the theme of interest rates and confidence, today is a huge day for market expectations, with the release of the Labour Force data for January at 11.30am.

The market expects a moderate gain in jobs (+7,500) but unemployment ticking up to 6.2 percent.

The November and December data looked suspiciously strong to me as I looked at in more detail here, and a reversal this month would be no surprise.

Cash rate futures markets are pricing about a 44 percent chance of another interest rate cut on the 3rd of March, with a rate cut fully priced in for the May Board Meeting.

Today's release will go some way to determining whether the Reserve cuts again next month or pauses to assess the impact of easier monetary policy.