Articles on Vital signs

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Officially, our inflation rate is lower than at any time since the 1950s, but we’ve reasons for doubting it. Shutterstock

Vital Signs: Why we distrust the consumer price index

Hardly anyone believes that prices are really increasing by only 1.9% per year. The fault lies with us, and also the way the Bureau of Statistics adjusts prices for 'quality'.
Whether there is a floor beneath which cuts in interest rate are ineffective depends in part on house prices. Shutterstock

Vital Signs: when cutting interest rates might not help

It is thought that it doesn't help much to cut official interest rates toward or beyond zero, and maybe it doesn't, but new research suggests the answer has a lot to do with the housing market.
There were interesting developments in the tit-for-tat tariff announcements between the US and China this week. Roman Pilipey/EPA/AAP

Vital Signs: the world economy can benefit from a vindicated Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of plans to further open up the Chinese economy this week - and the world economy should hope US president Trump feels vindicated by this.

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