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Australia Still in Good Shape

November 15th, 2013
Despite consistent worriers and “good old days” nostalgia, Australia is in good financial shape heading into 2014. The latest insight into the state of the nation comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), who have just released the Measure of Australia’s Progress (MAP) report. Economic data from the report was largely positive, with consumer sentiment also rising according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment. The MAP report analysed a detailed set of progress indicators divided into four main areas: ; society, economy, environment, and governance. ; Key economic measures associated with opportunities, jobs, prosperity, international economic management, and living standards had all progressed, with the resilience of the Australian economy the only regression. Economic opportunities are on the rise, with the proportion of Australians currently employed in a skilled occupation or with a Certificate III or above growing from 64 percent in 2007 to 70 percent today. ; ; The jobs indicator improved because of a decline in the unemployment rate from 6.4 percent to 5.2 percent over the last decade, with the prosperity measure rising due to advances in net savings and real wealth measures per capita. ; Living standards were up based on disposable…

Home Loan Approvals on the Rise

November 8th, 2013

Australian home loan approvals are on the rise, with recent September results growing faster than expected. Approvals have been rising steadily for most of the year despite a fall in August, with the property market strengthening throughout most of 2013. It’s not all clear sailing for the housing sector, however, with warnings of risky lending by the RBA and the […]

Easy Ways to Detox before the Holiday Season

November 1st, 2013

Detox diets and programs have become very popular lately, thanks to growing health awareness in the community and ongoing celebrity endorsement. While controversy surrounds some of the benefits attributed to commercial detox products, most people can benefit from diet restrictions and improved nutrition. Even if you don’t have the desire or will to commit to a lengthy and strict detox […]

Gen Y Big on Renovations

October 25th, 2013

Renovations are back on the agenda, with a growing number of young Aussies choosing to renovate rather than relocate. According to results from a recent study by St George Bank, the urge to revamp existing homes is stronger with the younger generation. Generation Y are increasingly prioritising their savings to pay for renovation projects, with new appliances and furniture on […]

Australia After Mining

October 18th, 2013

The Australian economy is going through a significant transition that will become more acute over the next decade. As the mining boom of recent years comes to an end, the move toward broader based growth is slow and unclear. Where will the investment and jobs come from after the mining boom, and does the government really have a clear picture […]

Crazy Extreme Sports

October 18th, 2013

While most people are content with the relative safety of traditional sports, there are always people out there looking for something extra. Extreme sports have grown in popul arity over the last couple of decades, from break-away sports such as free solo climbing and tow-in surfing through to brand new activities like wingsuit flying. If your tennis racquet and golf […]

Uneven Market a Dilemma for the RBA

October 9th, 2013

The property market in Australia is far from even, with prices in Sydney and Melbourne growing faster than the rest of the country. With home values pushing higher and consistently strong clearance rates recorded, the two cities have emerged as clear front runners in a two-speed market. While a market recovery is good news, the growing gap between cities may […]

Dealing with E-Waste in Your Home

October 4th, 2013

Electronic waste is a serious global problem that gets bigger each year. Advances in technology continue to reduce the lifespan of electronic devices, with computers now used for an average of just two years before they reach landfill. While governments and organisations around the world are developing solutions associated with new product manufacture and e-waste processing, householders can make a […]

Physical Exercise Improves Brain Function

September 27th, 2013

There is a link between regular physical exercise and healthy brain function, with physical exertion affecting the brain on multiple fronts. Not only does regular exercise pump more oxygen to the brain and aid the body in the release of hormones, recent studies have also shown a direct link between physical activity and a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s […]

Trendy Words Get Dictionary Status

September 20th, 2013

A number of new words have been made official, with popular vernacular continuing to influence the English language. Technology, social media, fashion, and gastronomy all had something to say in the latest Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) update, with a number of buzzwords once again making the cut. Twerk, derp, selfie, jorts, and unlike were just some of the new words […]

Interest Rate Hike Sooner or Later

September 13th, 2013

With interest rates currently at historic lows, it’s all too easy to assume they will stay there forever. According to new research, however, rates could start climbing sooner rather than later, with the narrowing gap between fixed and variable interest rates setting off alarm bells for some analysts. While it is impossible to forecast a date for this theoretical rate […]