June 3, 2011
Economic Insights - Migration, Tourism, Car Sales & Alcohol Consumption

Australia as you know it might be changing. Data on migration, tourism, car sales and alcohol consumption were released.

Beer consumption has fallen to a 62-year low, 4.62 litres to 4.56 litres over the year to June 2010. The fall has cause a rise in another form of alcohol, wine, it rose from 3.73 litres to 3.81 litres in 2009/10. It could be caused by many factors like education, perception, and health issues. The fall in spending on take-away outlets could be aligned with the fall in beer consumption. Aussies are going on a health kick.

Aussies are also seizing the opportunity that the Aussie dollar is strong to travel, in April there was a near 20% lift in short-term overseas departures. People have been saving up and taking advantage of the best exchange rate Australia has seen in the past 30 years. When people save, money is kept, when they travel, the money they kept are spent not domestically but overseas, thus not benefiting the local businesses.

Also with the strong Aussie dollar, the tourism industry suffered a tourism deficit of record high 201,500 (arrivals less departures). Though arrivals to Australia has risen for the third month, the increase is not sufficient comparative to last year, the arrivals are down 22.1%.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reported that 77,406 new vehicles were sold in May, down 13.2% comparative to last year. It could be caused by the reduced availability due to the Japanese tsunami. In addition, people are relatively conservative, some might be waiting closer to the end of financial year before purchasing for tax benefits.

Lastly the Performance of Services Index fell to 49.9, under 50, indicating a contraction of activity within the services sector. Alongside, the new wage increase might further hurt the services sector, where businesses might be forced to reduce employment further.

All information are not to be taken for personal advice, please speak to your financial adviser or stock broker for proper strategies.

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