What about household wealth? We’ll have to wait until later in the month for the December 2015 quarter data, but the most recently available figures show household net worth hitting a record $8.49 trillion as at September 2015.
Aussie share markets fell quite sharply from July to September, markedly impacting superannuation balances, as you can see in the chart below.
Yet despite endless predictions of doom, gloom and searing pain through the financial crisis, total household wealth has doubled over the past 11 years.
Mortgage debt has increased in aggregate as you can see in the next chart, but after accounting for offsets and mortgage buffers, the household debt to income ratio has barley increased for about eight years, while mortgage repayments have been getting much cheaper.
An interesting aspect of recent housing market data has been that far from the national property market deflating, price growth may be rippling outwards from Sydney and Melbourne into Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, and Canberra, while low interest rates have even supported the resources capitals better than many expected.
It is increasingly looking like another year of dwelling price gains in 2016, though it should be noted that in many Queensland regions and towns house prices have been clobbered, such as in Bowen, Mackay, and so on.
The figures show aggregate household wealth at record highs, so households are demonstrably not getting poorer.
Of course not every household is better off, that’s a given, while unemployment and under-employment is still quite elevated, if not as high as had previously been forecast.
We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the latest household wealth figures to the end of 2015, which may show that poor share market performance has dragged down superannuation balances (if the Aussie share market was a dog, it would have been put down by now, as the old saying goes).
The brighter news for national income is that the iron ore price has rebounded by more than +37 per cent since December 11, while the oil price is up by fully +30 per cent in only three weeks.
Even the lowly copper spot briefly glanced US$2.20/lb overnight (not before time, I might add!).
Local share markets also touched a two-month high today, so any such hits to superannuation balances appear likely to be only short lived.