Dismal Science Podcast

Wednesday, 20 March 2024


    Join the AICD’s Chief Economist Mark Thirlwell GAICD and Head of Content Ivan Ah Sam for this weekly deep dive into all the economic news. From interest rates to trade wars and everything in between, we have you covered. Stay up-to-date on the economic forces shaping Australia and the world.

    188 - Industrial chic

    Industrial policy is making a comeback globally and Australia wants in on the action. Boosting supply chain resilience, accelerating the net zero transition, and geostrategic risk mitigation are touted as key benefits. But does it stack up economically?

    187 - Lost in the supermarket

    A review into the supermarket code of conduct landed this week, raising fresh questions about competition. Can we raise prices for suppliers, while also lowering prices for consumers? Would increasing competition lead to more innovation? Or has the supermarket experience improved despite the lack of competition? Plus, strong US jobs numbers and an inflation point in the AICD's Director Sentiment Index.

    186 - Statistical error

    Questioning the official labour market data used to be the preserve of conspiracy theorists, but the surveys across the globe have been plagued by problems recently. Can we continue to trust these key economic indicators? Plus, dovish noises from the Reserve Bank on interest rates, as inflation continues to ease, though house prices march on.

    185 - Productivity puzzle (Live at the AGS)

    Live at last week's Australian Governance Summit, we asked what could be done about Australia's languishing productivity: can policy make a difference? Will AI save us? Could it be as simple as building more houses? Plus, a first rate cut might be nearing and an extraordinary plunge in the jobless rate.

    Regular listeners will notice some snazzy new cover art this week. Thanks to our fantastic designer Jana Clark and photographer Graham Jepson for the fresh look.

    184 - Per capita pain

    Australia's GDP per capital continues to go backwards as growth slows to snail's pace. Plus, we look ahead to next week's RBA meeting, Powell hints interest rate cuts might be imminent in the US and more Swiftonomics.

    183 - Narrowing path

    Inflation is falling but so is growth, is the path to a soft landing for Australia narrowing still? Plus, a deal for what it's worth at the WTO and the UK economy as Willy Wonka experience.

    182 - Trade daze

    The World Trade Organisation met last week. Not that you'd know it. Is the dream of global trade done? Plus, with real wages finally growing, could the RBA really raise rates again?

    181 - Bumpy road

    An uptick in US inflation shows the path back down might not be smooth, plus back home the labour market cools, hyperinflation in Argentina, and is Bitcoin back?

    180 - Speak now

    After the new look RBA meeting, the governor now holds a media conference where she addressed the future path of interest rates, as well as Taylor Swift's effect on inflation. Plus, China acts to backstop its sagging equity markets.

    179 - This one's optimistic

    Inflation is moderating in Australia and the IMF says the global economy is on "the final descent toward a soft landing". 2024 might be looking up. Plus, what to expect from next week's new look RBA meeting.

    178 - Stage 3 and me

    We look at the government's changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts. How will this affect the distribution and will they be inflationary? Plus, business confidence plunges and the IMF warns against cutting rates any time soon.

    177 - Twenty twenty more

    Happy New Year listeners! Big ep to get us rolling:

    Consumer confidence sliding, signs of slackening in the jobs market and weaker inflation point to the RBA holding in February, Houthi attacks on shipping in the Suez, more weak numbers from China, Mark's apocalyptic beach reading, and the housing market marches on.

    176 - A merry little quizmas

    It's another bumper quizmas episode. We score Mark on last year's forecasts and gaze into the crystal ball to see what's ahead in 2024.

    Thank you to all of our listeners. Have a great break! We'll be back in January with more epsiodes.

    175 - Polyphonic spree

    The RBA will now speak with multiple voices with all board members expected to speak to the public. Will this lead to greater transparency or muddy the waters further? Plus, more bumper jobs growth, the MYEFO reveals another jump in tax receipts, Milei takes his razor to Argentine spending and another COP climate conference goes by.

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