Sunday, June 21, 2015

Employment cycles and exchange rates

A post at Conus on the most recent regional employment data: Cairns employment growth slows; unemployment rate up on back of female jobless

In response to some comments there I thought I would repost this graph of the unemployment rate differential between Cairns and Queensland with a TWI exchange rate overlay.

The early years of the series where the cairns unemployment rate was below Queensland (blue) was also a period of significantly weaker exchange rate (red) and weak commodity prices particularly coal. However I think I would probably be wary of drawing strong conclusions from any apparent correlations here.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bullshit. Nonsense. And Cairns Airport traffic numbers.

Well, the Cairns Airport have updated their traffic numbers for May and am sticking by my scepticism of the HTW CairnsWatch trend on domestic traffic. However the story was a big jump in International passengers for May up 27.4% on the previous year. The Airport even called this a record. It isn't. Yes, I am using the airports own numbers. Never mind sure the Cairns Post will be able to turn it into a headline.

The real record was that May 2014 had been a record low for currently available data going back to July 2004 and probably for a long long time before that. However the recovery in International trend is looking sustainable with the Silk connection to Singapore also commencing at the end of the month. In context best to look at traffic rather than volatile monthly growth:

A turnaround in the very early stages from a low base but still a way to go. Monthly growth with 12 month moving average for domestic and total (ex transits). International now a contributor rather than a drag on growth at least:

I await the next CairnsWatch with interest and can only presume any domestic "record" trend well above 5% should be easily identifiable as nonsense.

Source: Cairns Airport

Monday, June 8, 2015

Say What?

The latest CairnsWatch from Rick Carr at HTW popped into the inbox on Friday afternoon. Rick reckons the trend rate of growth for domestic passengers at Cairns Airport is:
Over the period from April 2014 to April 2015 domestic passenger numbers have shown an 8.2% trend increase.  
You can see my previous posts on Airport traffic in recent months:

 Airport growth continues in March; International recovery continues at airport

In my comments on the February numbers I quietly questioned the CairnsWatch trend numbers on this with reference to Chinese New Year. With late release of the March airport numbers this latest CairnsWatch provides a further trend percentage boost after another two months which I just can't stack up with any underlying data from the Airport.

I have checked the CairnsWatch archive but just can't make sense of the reported monthly variation in the trend numbers which did a massive jump in a month between January and February. I don't want to be critical of Rick who is a lovely guy but some of his trend numbers just don't work for me. I'm sticking with my numbers which are also not dissimilar to reported numbers from Cairns Airport and stakeholder Auckland Airport.

Reported in the Cairns Post: Airport and building approvals give rise to Cairns’ economic turnaround

Monday, June 1, 2015

A China fade for arrivals

It has been a while since I've had a look at the overseas arrivals data. After some changes last year there have been problems compiling the data and the ABS has only now caught up to January. Pete Faulkner at Conus has been diligently following the progress: Arrivals up but the China boom is waning

The trend for Chinese arrivals looks to have weakened quite significantly in recent months ahead of the lunar new year period. ABS do a seasonal adjustment for the lunar new year so what I have done is overlay all three series.

This shows just how significant the Chinese new year season is for tourism and the seasonal adjustment from the ABS can be huge. The faint dotted line there is a 3 month moving average thrown in to smooth out the seasonal variation in the original data a bit where the new year period overlaps months. Worth watching whether recent trend weakness is sustained or just a flat period before the new year and how it progresses after that period. The previous weak period in 2013 which shows up mostly in the seasonal data was the regulatory changes around package tours.
Meanwhile the latest data has allowed me update a favourite graph of the state where most time spent for visitors. This is all short term visitors which would also include such as business and education.


Oh no! Surely Victoria can't really be about to overtake Queensland?