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September 17 2021

1. Better business conditions…

NAB’s measure of Australian business conditions rose modestly in August, despite half the country being in lockdown. Encouragingly, firms’ reported forward orders increased in August. The monthly measure of Australian consumer confidence also rose a little in September, as more clarity was received on the end of lockdowns.  

Source: ABS, ANZ-Roy Morgan, Westpac & Melbourne Institute, Macquarie

2. Plastics soar…

Petrochemical prices are soaring along with demand for all types of plastics as the world continues to recover from the pandemic. Prices for PVC suspension polymer in Germany are now about 30% higher than their previous peak in 2012. Alongside the recovery in fuel use, rising demand for plastics is adding to the upward pressure on oil prices. This news follows a solid result recently from portfolio company Amcor, who has been able to pass through the higher raw material costs.

Source: Bloomberg

3. The sunshine state…

Queensland remains the most hesitant state to get vaccinated, but that hasn’t seemed to stop interstate migration. As Australia’s population growth slowed to just 0.1% y/y this year, Queensland has seen the largest net interstate migration in around 15 years.

Source: Melbourne Institute, ABS, Macquarie Macro Strategy