September 2019

September 2019

It’s September and spring is in the air. It’s time to shake off the winter cobwebs, get out into the garden or the great outdoors. It’s also a good time to plan your summer break.

August was a challenging month for investors. Global markets reacted negatively to an escalation in the US-China trade war and the looming no-deal Brexit. US economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 2 per cent in the June quarter, down from 3.1 per cent the previous quarter. China’s economy is also slowing – industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment all recorded lower growth in the year to July.

To stimulate the US economy, the US Federal Reserve cut rates by 25 basis points, the first cut since 2008. US short-term bond yields rose as did the US dollar, but shares fell around the globe. In the US, shares were down around 2 per cent for the month while Australian shares shed 3 per cent. The Hong Kong market fell more than 7 per cent as protests continued and UK shares fell 5 per cent on Brexit worries.

In Australia, most companies reported positive earnings for the 2019 financial year, but only a little over half managed to lift profits. One challenge is retail spending, up 0.2 per cent in the year to June, the weakest in 28 years. The NAB business confidence index rose in July, but the business conditions index fell to 2.4 points (the long-term average is 5.8 points).

On the bright side, Australia’s trade surplus hit a new record high of $49.9 billion in the year to June. The Australian dollar finished the month lower at around US67c, which should support our exporters.

It’s been a long time coming, but up to 630,000 retirees could soon enjoy a small but welcome increase in their Age Pension payments following a cut in deeming rates used for the pension...

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For most people, life insurance provides a safety net against unexpected events. This is particularly the case if you have a mortgage, debts or family who are dependent on you earning an...

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As children, we are surrounded by stories. The books our parents read to us, the cartoons we watch, the imaginary games we play. As adults we might like to think that story time is over....

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As always, if you would like to discuss the contents of this newsletter please give us a call 07 5559 5760.

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