Is the mining boom back?
While everyone was on holidays, the price of iron ore has shot back up to $US158 a tonne.
It was iron ore’s slump to $US86 a tonne at the end of last year that sparked fears of the end of the mining boom.
It’s not an easy job, being the Governor of the Reserve Bank.
Glenn Stevens may have the benefit of hundreds of boffins feeding him historical data about the performance of the economy. But at the end of the day, no-one can see into the future. Interest rates are set in the Governor’s gut and those of his eight fellow board members.
And my gut’s telling me they should cut next week. There have been three important developments since the board last met. First, commodity prices remain off their highs, boding ill for investment and jobs in the previously red-hot mining industry. In his last statement, Stevens observed commodity prices had “fallen sharply in recent weeks”. Indeed, the price of Australia’s biggest export, iron ore, had tumbled to around $US86 a tonne.
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In breaking news from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, apparently the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. On a cheerier note, there’s a bunch of us in the middle who are doing better than we were five years ago.
And here are five of the more interesting findings:
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