Australia Data: Westpac Leading Index for May: +0.21% m/m (prior +0.14%)

22 June 2016, 06:58
Sherif Hasan
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This data point is not usually much of an immediate FX market mover

But it's a good one (IMO) for a longer-term view on them Australian economy (6 - 9 months out or so). Still, having said this, the data point has been signalling slow growth for the past 12 months or so, and GDP in the past 6 months has been much stronger than expected.

Says WPAC:
  • The six month annualised growth rate in the Westpac Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, rose from -1.19% in April to -0.42% in May.
  • Index continues to point to sub-trend growth ... the May update showed a material improvement and marks the best reading since October
  • Most notably the drag from falling commodity prices which has been a consistent feature over the last two years has eased significantly with the component now having a neutral effect on the index growth rate. This is an important development. While commodity prices are likely to remain weak near term, 2016 is expected to see an end to the strong underlying downtrend that in prices that has dominated since 2011. The reduced pressure on incomes is, in turn, expected to see a gradual improvement in conditions over the course of the year.
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