How Chinese Demand and US Labor Market Could Impact the Australian Economy

How Chinese Demand and US Labor Market Could Impact the Australian Economy

China has emerged as a critical trading partner for Australia, accounting for one-third of its exports. Such dependency on China leaves the Australian economy vulnerable to fluctuations in Chinese demand. As the trade-to-GDP ratio of Australia stands above 50%, any weakening of Chinese demand would have a significant impact on the Australian economy, including its workforce and the value of the Australian dollar.

Around 20% of the Australian workforce is employed in jobs related to trade. This includes various industries, such as mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, that heavily rely on exporting goods to China. If Chinese demand for Australian products declines, it would directly affect these trade-related jobs, leading to potential job losses and economic instability.

Economists have been closely monitoring the China Caixin Services PMI, expecting it to remain at 51.5 in December. This indicator provides insights into the performance of China’s services sector, which plays a significant role in the overall Chinese economy. Moreover, finalized services PMI numbers for Australia in December also drew investor interest. The increase in the Services PMI from 46.0 to 47.1, although lower than the preliminary figure of 47.6, suggests some improvement in the Australian services sector.

The Impact of the US Labor Market on Australian Economy

The upcoming US labor market data, including the ADP employment change and initial jobless claims, holds importance for the global economy, including Australia. A tight labor market in the US could result in wage growth and increased disposable income for American workers. This, in turn, would stimulate consumer spending and demand-driven inflationary pressure. However, a more hawkish stance by the Federal Reserve to curb inflation could potentially reduce disposable income and dampen demand-driven inflation globally, including in Australia.

The AUD/USD exchange rate is heavily influenced by both Chinese demand and US labor market trends. Positive labor market numbers from the US could lead to a delay in Fed rate cuts, making the US dollar stronger compared to the Australian dollar. Barring a significant stimulus package from China, monetary policy divergence between the US and China could further strengthen the US dollar.

The AUD/USD exchange rate currently remains bullish, holding above the 50-day and 200-day Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs), indicating positive price signals. If the AUD/USD moves beyond the $0.67500 mark, it could encounter resistance at the $0.68096 level. However, if the exchange rate falls below the $0.67286 support level, it could open the path for a decline towards the 50-day EMA and the $0.66162 support level. Currently, the 14-period Daily Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading stands at 54.38, suggesting potential for the AUD/USD to move towards the $0.68096 resistance level before entering overbought territory.

The Australian economy’s reliance on Chinese demand and the performance of the US labor market play crucial roles in shaping its economic outlook. Any weakening of Chinese demand and a more hawkish stance by the Federal Reserve could have significant implications for the Australian economy, its workforce, and the value of the Australian dollar. It remains essential for policymakers and investors to closely monitor these factors to make informed decisions regarding Australia’s economic trajectory.

Forecasts

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