On Friday the 16th of November, we held our annual Sharp & Carter CFO Networking Lunch for 2018.

On the day we were lucky enough to have esteemed economic commentator Saul Eslake presenting his outlook on the Australian Economy.

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Saul gave an insightful and wide ranging address with some key themes including:

  • A convergence of what was previously described as a “two speed economy” with the slowing down of the mining boom in the resource rich states

  • Our economic growth story owes a lot to sustained high immigration which needs to be carefully planned for in terms of infrastructure and provision of essential services

  • Consumption and household spending remain strong but could be under threat from the “wealth effect” of declining house prices

  • Employment growth has been strong and can be expected to remain so into next year but concentrated in a few key sectors including technology, construction, manufacturing and healthcare

  • Our home ownership is no longer high by our own historical or international standards, although easing demand from investors will likely see more first time buyers coming into the market

  • The RBA is unlikely to be in any hurry to raise interest rates as a weaker exchange rate would likely assist the trade exposed areas of the economy

For Saul, the key risks to the Australian economy are:

  • Rising US interest rates

  • A “hard landing” in China

  • A prolonged or widespread trade war

  • A sharp reduction in our immigration intake

  • An abrupt and/or large decline in residential property prices

  • Ongoing political instability

Of course, time will tell, however if you’d like to learn more please do contact us on for a copy of Saul’s full presentation, and let us know if you would like to come to our next CFO event!