Curious Kids: how do we know if a dinosaur skeleton is from a child dinosaur or an adult dinosaur?

This T. rex is very big, but was it a grown-up?ShutterstockWhen you find dinosaur skeletons, how can you tell how old the dinosaur was? Like, if the skeleton is from a child dinosaur or an adult dinos...

Caitlin Syme, PhD in Vertebrate Palaeontology, The University of Queensland - avatar Caitlin Syme, PhD in Vertebrate Palaeontology, The University of Queensland

Western Australia looks set to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Here's what's likely to happen from next week

If the bill clears its final hurdle next week, Western Australia will become the second state in Australia after Victoria to legalise voluntary assisted dying.from www.shutterstock.comWestern Australi...

Courtney Hempton, Associate Research Fellow, Deakin University - avatar Courtney Hempton, Associate Research Fellow, Deakin University

Grammar expert: schools not doing enough to teach kids the basics

According to grammar expert Deb Doyle, Australian educators are failing to teach grammar and punctuation adequately.   Doyle has worked as a grammar and punctuation educator for 25 years. She teac...

Tess Sanders Lazarus - avatar Tess Sanders Lazarus

Friday essay: living with fire and facing our fears

The smouldering ruins of a child's bike lies amongst a property lost to bushfires in the Mid North Coast region of NSW last month.Darren Pateman/AAPIt is only mid-November but we have to walk early to...

Danielle Clode, Senior Research Fellow in Creative Writing, Flinders University - avatar Danielle Clode, Senior Research Fellow in Creative Writing, Flinders University

Explainer: why homicide rates in Australia are declining

Latest figures reveal homocides in Australia are at historic lows. AAP/James RossAccording to the latest figures, homicides in Australia are at historic lows and compare well against international tre...

Terry Goldsworthy, Associate Professor in Criminology, Bond University - avatar Terry Goldsworthy, Associate Professor in Criminology, Bond University

Making space: how designing hospitals for Indigenous people might benefit everyone

Sunshine Coast University Hospital uses evidence-based design to provide outside spaces with views that Indigenous people tell us they value.Architectus, Author providedWelcome to the next article in ...

Timothy O'Rourke, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, The University of Queensland - avatar Timothy O'Rourke, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, The University of Queensland

Vital Signs: Australia's slipping student scores will lead to greater income inequality

While no test is perfect but the Programme for International Student Assessment rankings are pretty useful for understanding the skills young people are being equipped with.www.shutterstock.comThe lat...

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW - avatar Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW

We're using lasers and toaster-sized satellites to beam information faster through space

The electromagnetic spectrum we can access with current technologies is completely occupied. This means experts have to think of creative ways to meet our rocketing demands for data.NASA Johnson/Flick...

Gottfried Lechner, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia, University of South Australia - avatar Gottfried Lechner, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia, University of South Australia

Grattan on Friday: Angus Taylor's troubles go international, in brawl with Naomi Wolf

Morrison would rather live with a problem minister in a key post than give a scalp to Labor.Mick Tsikas/AAPScott Morrison said it with a straight face, and repetition for emphasis. “I’m ve...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Early medical abortion is legal across Australia but rural women often don't have access to it

Australian women can have an early medical termination – which involves taking two oral medications – up to the ninth week of pregnancy.Jonatán Becerra/UnsplashAround one in si...

Jane Tomnay, Assoc. Professor / Director of Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, University of Melbourne - avatar Jane Tomnay, Assoc. Professor / Director of Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, University of Melbourne

All hail apostrophes - the heavy lifters who 'point a sentence in the right direction'

Doing away with the apostrophe is not just the beginning of the end ... it's the end. www.shutterstock.comReports this week about the demise of the Apostrophe Protection Society may have been greatly ...

Roslyn Petelin, Course coordinator, The University of Queensland - avatar Roslyn Petelin, Course coordinator, The University of Queensland

It's the 10-year anniversary of our climate policy abyss. But don't blame the Greens

In 2009, a Bob Brown-led Greens party voted against an emissions trading scheme – but they can't be blamed for what came after.Mick Tsikas/AAPFederal Labor this week commemorated a dubious anniv...

Rebecca Pearse, Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney - avatar Rebecca Pearse, Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney

Morrison cuts a swathe through the public service, with five departmental heads gone

Scott Morrison has announced a dramatic overhaul of the federal public service, cutting the number of departments and creating several new mega ones, while removing five secretaries.The departments w...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Tick, tock... how stress speeds up your chromosomes' ageing clock

At a molecular level, stresses and strains can make your body clock break into a sprint.Lightspring/ShutterstockAgeing is an inevitability for all living organisms, and although we still don’t k...

Szymek Drobniak, DECRA Fellow, UNSW - avatar Szymek Drobniak, DECRA Fellow, UNSW

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms household wealth has fallen, on the back of falling house prices, in the past year.

But it’s not all bad news. There are signs of hope in the portents for the next six months.

During the first quarter of this year, the net worth of all Australian households rose 0.2% to A$10.2 trillion. Total household net worth in March 2019 was 0.7% lower than in March 2018, largely because of steep falls over the final six months of 2018.

The per capita annual decline was larger, falling by about 2.4%, because of population growth. This means the average wealth of Australians dropped by about A$9,500, from A$414,400 to A$404,900.

ABS This household “balance sheet event” – defined as an annual decline in household sector net wealth – is the third in the past 30 years. The other two were through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and immediately after. Housing (land and dwellings) comprises 52% of household-sector assets. Superannuation comprises 24%. Property values fluctuate with real estate prices, while superannuation is highly exposed to volatility within the financial markets. Consumer spending The next chart highlights the relationship between changes in household net worth and spending on discretionary items and durable goods. ABS But what is interesting is that consumer sentiment has not been significantly affected. The following chart shows household net worth vs Westpac’s consumer sentiment data. This is the first major downturn in household net wealth in 30 years that has not coincided with weaker consumer sentiment. ABS & Westpac It’s hard to know for certain why consumer confidence has remained relatively steady, but two things stand out. First, the consumer financial adjustment has been orderly and deliberate as opposed to rapid and forced. It appears people have consciously adjusted spending and savings patterns to achieve long-term savings goals. Second, there has been ongoing strength in the labour market. Despite falling wealth, people still have jobs and this reinforces confidence. Shares and housing stocks It is safe to say consumers will start spending more once they feel their asset position has stabilised. Strong equity markets have played a big role in shoring up household wealth since the start of this year. As the next chart demonstrates, they could continue to do so over the period ahead. ABS & Bllomberg But the big swing factor is house prices – specifically land values. The Reserve Bank’s interest rate cuts should help stabilise house prices over the second half of 2019. Our last chart suggests this appears to have started, with auction clearance rates improving in recent months. ABS, CoreLogic & Bloomberg This all suggests household wealth could start growing again in the second half of the year. That should go a long way to stabilising the economy.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/australian-household-wealth-has-taken-its-biggest-dive-since-the-gfc-but-things-are-looking-up-119001