December 2016

The Sensitivity of Personal Income to GDP Growth

Australian Economy
Tahlee Stone

This article examines how the income of different individuals varies in response to changes in the state of the economy using individual-level data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. More specifically, the article explores which types of income earners (those in the top, middle or bottom of the income distribution) and which sources of income (labour or capital) are most affected by economic conditions. Results suggest that the incomes of bottom- and top-income earners are the most sensitive to the state of the economy, although for different reasons: during strong economic conditions, the labour income of bottom-income earners rises, due to lower unemployment, while the capital income of top-income earners also rises, due to higher dividend and interest earnings. The effect on bottom-income earners appears to be stronger than that on top-income earners, suggesting that income inequality declines when economic conditions are strong.

capital, income and wealth, labour market

Factors Affecting an Individual's Future Labour Market Status

Australian Economy
Michelle van der Merwe

This article examines the ways in which someone's characteristics and circumstances in one year affect their probability of being in a particular labour market state in the next year. People are more likely to be employed next year if they are currently employed and have tertiary qualifications. In contrast, they are more likely to be unemployed or outside the labour force if they have a long-term health condition, have not completed high school or are a migrant from a non-English-speaking background. Additionally, the article considers the changing importance of determinants over time, noting the role that changes in individual and household preferences as well as broader macroeconomic conditions are likely to have played.

labour market

Measures of Inflation Expectations in Australia

Australian Economy
Angus Moore

Inflation expectations have an important influence on wage growth and price inflation. Expectations differ across agents and time and, accordingly, the Reserve Bank monitors a range of measures. This article discusses why inflation expectations are important for inflation and economic activity, the measures that exist in Australia and various issues affecting their interpretation. The financial markets that are used to calculate some measures of inflation expectations are not particularly liquid in Australia, and the financial measures also include an inflation risk premium; these issues can affect the interpretation of movements in the series.

financial markets, forecasting, inflation, rba survey

The Cash Market

Al Hing, Gerard Kelly and David Olivan

The cash market is the market for unsecured, overnight loans between banks. The weighted average of interest rates on these loans is the cash rate, the Reserve Bank's operational target for monetary policy and an important financial benchmark. Over the past decade or so there have been a number of regulatory and payment system developments that have affected the cash market, coinciding with a decline in aggregate market turnover. This article examines these developments using newly available data on payment system activity.

banking, financial markets, funding

The Future of Cash

Cassie Davies, Mary-Alice Doyle, Chay Fisher and Samual Nightingale

Australian consumers have increasingly been using electronic payment methods in preference to cash for their transactions. The overall demand for cash in Australia, however, remains strong. There is ongoing demand for cash for non-transaction purposes, particularly as a store of wealth. While the role of cash in society is evolving, it is likely to remain an important feature of the payments system and economy for the foreseeable future. Moreover, the current mix of banknote denominations continues to meet community demand for a secure means of payment and store of wealth. Given the ongoing importance of cash, the Reserve Bank will maintain the public's confidence in Australia's banknotes by continuing to ensure that banknotes are of high quality and secure from counterfeiting.

banknotes, currency, money, payments

The Effect of Chinese Macroeconomic News on Australian Financial Markets

Global Economy
Thomas Mathews

Over the past two decades, economic and financial developments in China have become more important for the Australian economy in many ways. This article focuses on the effect of economic data releases in China on financial markets in Australia, and argues that Australian financial markets, particularly the Australian dollar, react more strongly to news about the Chinese economy than in the past.

china, financial markets, global economy

Developments in Foreign Exchange and OTC Derivatives Markets

Megan Garner, Anna Nitschke and David Xu

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) conducts the Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Over-the-counter (OTC) Derivatives Markets Activity (Triennial Survey) to collect information about the size and structure of these markets. The 2016 survey results suggest that global activity in these markets declined since the previous survey, partly reflecting higher-than-usual activity in April 2013 and exchange rate movements. Over the same period, activity in the Australian foreign exchange market declined markedly in US dollar terms, but only modestly in Australian dollar terms. For Australian banks, the value of OTC derivatives outstanding continued to increase, though gross credit exposure declined.

currency, exchange rate, financial markets, global economy, trade

Macroprudential Policy Frameworks and Tools

Financial Stability
David Orsmond and Fiona Price

Over the past decade, policymakers have increasingly used macroprudential tools to address a range of financial stability concerns. International institutions have identified and offered guidance on the components of an effective macroprudential framework, while noting the need for such a framework to be sufficiently broad to reflect differences in national circumstances. This article outlines key issues faced by policymakers in identifying and mitigating systemic risk and notes the flexible approach taken by Australia's regulatory agencies. In this context, macroprudential policy is seen as just one component of an effective financial stability framework.

banking, global financial crisis, regulation, risk and uncertainty

The graphs in the Bulletin were generated using Mathematica.

ISSN 0725–0320 (Print)
ISSN 1837-7211 (Online)