Australia Company Profits Fall 2.8% In Q4

Company operating profits in Australia were down a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent on month in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

That missed forecasts for a decline of 1.8 percent following the upwardly revised 1.4 percent increase in the third quarter )originally 1.3 percent).

The manufacturing sales of goods and service fell 2.0 percent on quarter and 8.4 percent on year.

The wholesale trade sales of goods and services gained 1.6 percent on quarter and 3.0 percent on year.

Inventories dipped 0.4 percent on quarter versus expectations for a gain of 0.1 percent following the flat reading in the three months prior. They were up 0.2 percent on year.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for wages and salaries rose 0.5 percent on quarter and 2.8 percent on year in Q4.

Also on Monday:
. The Reserve Bank of Australia said that total credit to the private sector in Australia was up 0.5 percent on month in January, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.

On a yearly basis, credit advanced 6.5 percent – also matching forecasts after rising 6.6 percent in the previous month.

Individually, housing credit added 0.5 percent on month and 7.3 percent on year, while personal credit dipped 0.2 percent on month and on year and business credit gained 0.6 percent on month and 6.2 percent on year.

The M3 money stock added 0.8 percent on month and 6.5 percent on year, while broad money gained 0.8 percent on month and 6.6 percent on year.

. The latest forecast from the Melbourne Institute revealed that consumer prices in Australia are predicted to have eased 0.2 percent on month in February.

In January, the forecast called for a 0.4 percent decline on month.

On a yearly basis, inflation is pegged at 2.1 percent – down from 2.3 percent in the previous month, but still barely within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target range of 2 to 3 percent.

Fuel costs were the key driver, tumbling 5.6 percent in the month.

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