Economic and Political Overview 2019

Australia's premier series of events on the economy and politics for the year ahead.

CEDA’s 2019 Economic and Political Overview (EPO) looks back at the economic and political events that shaped 2018 as well as looking to the year ahead. A new addition for this report is an overview of policy and how it relates to economic and political outcomes. Issues are explored through both a domestic and international lens. 

Chapters and authors

The 2019 EPO report features contributions from:

Economic overview
Michael Blythe, Chief Economist and Managing Director, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Michael Blythe notes Australia’s economic prospects waxed and waned in 2018. Growth was strong enough to boost the labour
market with unemployment close to the full employment rate and a hint of wages growth. However, a degree of pessimism has
emerged about the country’s economic prospects in 2019 fuelled by global uncertainty in financial markets.

Domestic political overview
Karen Middleton, Political Editor, The Saturday Paper
Karen Middleton recounts a year in Australian politics that saw the Coalition Government embroiled in scandal, in-fighting and
inertia around energy policy. After what seemed a positive start to 2018, the Government ended the year having replaced both
the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and lost its slim majority.

International political overview
Sara James, Emmy Award winning journalist and author
Sara James casts a reporter’s eye over the tumultuous first term of the Trump presidency. From a front-row seat at the November
Midterm elections, she examines how Trump’s pugilistic style and rhetoric has polarised Americans and may have emboldened
far-right politicians and their supporters, both in the US and abroad.

Domestic policy overview
Dr Jenny Gordon, Chief Economist, Nous Group
Dr Jenny Gordon reviews policy developments in 2018 and considers how they might unfold in 2019. Dr Gordon notes tax reform
remains in the too hard basket for most politicians while an inability to reach consensus on energy policy was pivotal in unseating
another prime minister. Results were mixed on education with little to note on environment, multicultural or foreign aid policy.

European policy overview
Dr Hubertus Bardt, Managing Director and Head of Research at the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (German Economic Institute)
Dr Hubertus Bardt examines the economic and policy landscape in Europe where Brexit, trade restrictions, increased support for
populist and right-wing parties and immigration policies will be key issues in 2019. In Germany, the ageing population, the high
cost of pension schemes and a shortage of qualified workers are placing pressures on the nation’s economy.

US economic overview
Joesph Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, CED
Dr Joseph Minarik writes that the controversial late-2017 tax cut may turn out to be a double-edged sword for the US economy.
With growth picking up, a job market going gangbusters, lowering unemployment, increasing wages and low inflation, the
economy looks in good shape. The tax cut may be behind a looming debt crisis with trouble ahead for the US federal budget.

China policy overview
Associate Professor Jane Golley, Acting Director, Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University
Jane Golley maps the phenomenal rise of China’s economy since economic reforms and opening-up began 40 years ago.
Despite taking its place as an economic powerhouse, in 2018 the Chinese economy began to slow, and debt rose, calling into
question the policy direction of President Xi Jinping.

2019 events and highlights

The report was launched in Brisbane with events following across Australia.

> Brisbane | 14 February 2019

> Canberra | 15 February 2019

> Sydney | 22 February 2019

> Hobart | 25 February 2019

> Perth | 27 February 2019

> Townsville | 1 March 2019

> Melbourne | 15 March 2019

> Adelaide | 15 March 2019


Past EPO reports

Economic and Political Overview 2018 

The 2018 EPO overarching theme explored find and access accurate information in the digital age. In addition to the risks brought by digital mediums, the publication looks at how evolving digital mediums are offering new ways for businesses to connect and understand their customers through the use of big data. Continuing the theme of information and campaigning, the report looks at how a four-year political system would change the way parties campaign in Australia, and if this would bring about a shift in the way information is delivered. 

Download: EPO 2018 (pdf)

Economic and Political Overview 2017

CEDA's 2017 Economic and Political Overview (EPO) provides economic and political insights and also examines where growth will come from in 2017, ongoing domestic challenges, the prospect of a weakening Australian dollar, and global risks. With the Australian Government in its eighth continuous year of substantial fiscal deficit, and the unlikelihood that promises of a return to surplus will be met, the EPO  will provide a follow-up to CEDA’s major research reports of 2016, Deficit to balance: budget repair options and Australia’s economic future: agenda for growth, assessing what action remains to be taken for the Federal Budget to be returned to balance by 2018–19. 

Download: EPO 2017 (pdf) 

Economic and Political Overview 2016

CEDA's 2016 Economic and Political Overview (EPO) provides economic and political insights and also examines Australian international competitiveness, challenges and opportunities for Australian businesses and sustainable productivity growth. The publication was launched in Brisbane with a series of events in capital cities across Australia during February and March. Read the EPO 2016 media release or the opinion piece by CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin.  

Download: EPO 2016 (pdf) 

Economic and Political Overview 2015

CEDA's 2015EPO provides economic and political forecasts and also examines funding options from the finance sector and some proposed market-based reforms and equity issues in Australia.The publication was launched in Sydney with a series of events in capital cities across Australia during February and March. Read the EPO 2015 media release or the opinion piece by CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin.  

Download: EPO 2015 (pdf)