Australia’s economists on average expect the consumer price index (CPI) for December to have risen by 0.7 percent when results are released tomorrow.

This is the “tipping point” according to one guru – a result above this will force the Reserve Bank to raise rates, while a result below might leave them still worried but prepared to await further data. A result equal to the average economist’s prediction would probably leave them squirming uncomfortably on the fence.

Yesterday’s Blog notes the good news in the Producer Price Index (PPI) due to the falling price of oil, and therefore petrol. This may have a sufficiently strong effect on the CPI to keep further interest rate hike at bay, at least for the time being.

In climate change news, according to an Oz report, “Former fossil fuel mogul John Schubert says the nation has reached a “tipping point” on climate change, with overwhelming public acceptance of the problem making it impossible for business and government to ignore it any longer”.

We suspect this business heavy has reached his own “tipping point” on climate change, which he generalises to the Australian population. Good on you, mate, the nation’s children needs the support of business heavies, and it’s always been about the balance of probabilities and the risks of being wrong. These risks are much bigger if climate sceptics are in charge (the case so far, and still) than if our leaders work hard on real solutions. Sadly there are no real signs yet that global political leaders are yet seriously on the case.

The always popular Raff Report is in, and according to the figures, things may be looking up in the US:

After talking about the US economy slowing for more than 12 months it has finally reached its zenith and all that remains now is to guess the depth and extent of the slowdown. In recent times some of the talking heads have referred to the US economy as two tiers: autos and housing together and the rest of the economy.

Some of the housing numbers have gotten better and there is hope for the auto sector.

More reading at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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