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Australia $ Value, Economic Direction?

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During the past week, the value of the Australian dollar has dropped down to $1.0186, per this morning's Wall Street Journal. As I noted on April 17, it was then at $1.0344. Why the drop? Maybe the below stories give some hints or ideas. Don't want to trigger a political debate here on these boards as the Cruise Critic policy discourages those types of debates or "battles". Just looking for the facts and tangibles on where thing are headed with Australia's economy and your dollar value. In the past five years, the highest value versus our dollar was $1.1028 on Aug. 2, 2011 and the lowest at $0.6120 on Oct. 28, 2008. Added insights, guesses, details, predictions, etc., from those in Australia?

 

From the Wall Street Journal this morning, they have this headline: "Australia Attracts Chinese Multimillionaires" with these highlights: "Australia said that so far it has attracted 170 applicants to a new program to develop foreign investment by offering overseas millionaires the right of residency in return for a portion of their wealth. The applications, believed to be mostly from China, would translate into inbound investment of at least 850 million Australian dollars (US$877 million). The program lets foreigners settle in Australia for up to four years, then seek permanent residency, in exchange for a minimum A$5 million investment during their stay. The push by Australia to start attracting foreign investors by offering them residency comes as the country faces what Finance Minister Penny Wong terms a new reality, as a decadelong mining boom evaporates amid a slowing global economy. The country is also playing catch-up with others offering visas to the wealthy investors. Its neighbor New Zealand, offers visas to those willing to invest as little as 1.5 million New Zealand dollars (US$1.3 million). And the U.S., a magnet for Chinese investors, grants green cards to qualifying foreign nationals for investing as little as $500,000 in a qualified U.S. business that creates a minimum number of jobs. 'Australia is in active competition with other countries across our region for successful, high-wealth individuals and the capital and business acumen that comes with them,' Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said last week. Chinese nationals are likely to be among the biggest takers."

 

The article goes on to detail more on the political aspects in Australia for immigration, the slowing Aussie economy and upcoming elections there that could shift government control. The article notes: "The government's openness to wealthy foreigners contrasts with its approach more generally to immigration, a polarizing topic in Australia, particularly ahead of an election only four months away. The Labor government, which opinion polls suggest will lose the Sept. 14 election to the center-right Liberal Nationals, has proposed changes to the 457 temporary work visa system and has said it would 'put Aussie workers first' as the nation's economy has slowed, led by a cooling in the mining sector. Foreign investment, particularly from China, is a hot-button topic in Australia."

 

From yesterday's Bloomberg News, they have this headline: "Australian Retail Sales Decline as Job Outlook Weakens" with these highlights: "Australian retail sales unexpectedly fell in March and job advertisements dropped for a second month, sending the currency lower. 'The retail data and the decline in job ads should be consistent with an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank tomorrow,' said Joshua Williamson, a senior economist at Citigroup Inc. in Sydney who predicted the 0.4 percent drop and expects the central bank to lower borrowing costs. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose Labor Party is 10 percentage points behind the opposition in public polls ahead of a Sept. 14 election, faces an economy weighed by sustained currency strength. Weakness in China’s economy, as shown by a services index today, is damping commodity prices and curbing returns from Gillard’s new tax on mining profits."

 

And this morning, Australia cut its interest rate levels, trying to boost their economy. Th Economic Times notes: "Australia's central bank cut interest rates to a record low of 2.75 percent Tuesday, citing weak domestic inflation coupled with a persistently high dollar as investment in the key mining sector hits its peak. The Reserve Bank of Australia's shock decision to slash 25 basis points takes the official cash rate to never-before-seen lows, and is aimed at priming those areas struggling as the economy transforms away from mining."

 

How does this affect our cruise? We are all sensitive about costs. Most say that food/dining and other prices can be high in Sydney and in other parts of Australia. If the Australian economy slows some in the coming months, that might help stabilize our level of "sticker shock" when visiting down under for our Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland Celebrity Solstice cruise. Time will tell. With your mid September national elections, I will be keeping an eye on if and how these developments affect things. And I will share on our roll call accordingly for how these trends seem to be moving.

 

Full news stories at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323372504578466311602710742.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-06/australia-retail-sales-fall-in-march-as-households-turn-cautious.html

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/australia-cuts-interest-rate-to-record-low-2-75/articleshow/19926295.cms

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 129,171 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Without getting into the politcal or economic aspects, I dont think any Australian expects our dollar to stay like it. We are used to the American dollar being stronger. This is just a good time for us and we know it will come to an end. When I first went to America our dollar was only worth around 50c or 60c. For us this is just a bonus.

 

It is also an election year here and there could be many changes after September.

 

For me personally I would love to travel to America now but the GFC took care of that and I am limited in where my funds can take me.

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I can't wait for the dollar to drop. While its nice to take cheaper holidays, our primary industries have taken a massive hit these last few years due to the high cost of export. Plus it will encourage people to buy local again rather than ordering online from overseas.

 

I'll be happy with the dollar being around .80c to the US dollar, with the cheaper prices in the US it's still a comparable holiday price but it will help locally with more export and tourism.

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Well not being unpatriotic, but I hope the Australian Dollar stays strong against other currencies as I am overseas for 3 months next year, land travel and cruises.

 

I reckon it will stay around parity with the USD and around 65 GB pence to the AUD.

 

As for the cash rate dropping, not real happy about that as I am a self funded retiree, Centrelink gives me zilch.

 

As for the Labor Government, don't get me started, anyway we don't talk politics on here, do we? Roll on September.

Edited by NSWP

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Without getting into the politcal or economic aspects, I dont think any Australian expects our dollar to stay like it. We are used to the American dollar being stronger. This is just a good time for us and we know it will come to an end. When I first went to America our dollar was only worth around 50c or 60c. For us this is just a bonus. It is also an election year here and there could be many changes after September. For me personally I would love to travel to America now but the GFC took care of that and I am limited in where my funds can take me.

 

Jacs: I can't wait for the dollar to drop. While its nice to take cheaper holidays' date=' our primary industries have taken a massive hit these last few years due to the [b']high cost of export.[/b] Plus it will encourage people to buy local again rather than ordering online from overseas. I'll be happy with the dollar being around .80c to the US dollar, with the cheaper prices in the US it's still a comparable holiday price but it will help locally with more export and tourism.

 

NSWP: Well not being unpatriotic' date=' but I hope the Australian Dollar stays strong against other currencies as I am overseas for 3 months next year, land travel and cruises. I reckon it will stay around parity with the USD and around 65 GB pence to the AUD. As for the cash rate dropping, not real happy about that as I am a self funded retiree, Centrelink gives me zilch.[/quote']

 

Appreciate these added insights, comments and on-the-scene background. Plus, folks being "good" in not venturing into the politics, pro or con, on these issues. Yes, as an upcoming tourism visitor there, I would like to see things drop back to the 80 cents range versus the current $1.0166 cost to us in American dollars. Yes, it dropped so more today from where that value was this morning. Those trends would help our budget and with the various pre-cruise stops, etc.

 

The value of the dollar has had its problems, but so has Europe with its euro. Complicated and challenging world economics. Lots of factors are involved. Keep sharing these comments and information from Australia.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Celebrity Solstice Visual Highlights? From our June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in France, Italy, Kotor and Dubrovnik, I have pull together a number of wonderful visuals of the Solstice, its features, food, entertainment, options, etc. We are now at 4,774 views for this shorter version of my larger full review of that cruise and all of the port pictures/details. Check these postings and added info at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1803477

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Terry with your earlier comment about he higher costs of things in Australia, just remember to factor in the fact that we don't tip here. So while the menu price at a restaurant may seem like its 15% more than what you pay at home, you aren't adding a 15% tip to the bill at the end. Plus our tax is always included in the advertised price of something, so shock when you get to the register and the price increases.

 

Also knowing where to go for what helps too. Hotel restaurants will be expensive, as will ones with prime views of things like Sydney harbour bridge. We also don't really have cheap chain restaurants like Denny's and ihops. But you can find great restaurants with resonable prices in most cities. In Sydney for example there are lots in the darling harbour areas, they are all competing for business so you can get a great meal for a reasonable price, a main between 20-30 dollars (remember no tip required).

 

For snacks and drinks, try to go a supermarket rather than a convenience store. A packet of chips in a convenience store can be $5, but only $2 in a supermarket. Same for drinks.

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Here's a good way of predicting which way the dollar will go:

1. Take a dollar coin out of your pocket

2. Toss it in the air and let it fall

3. If heads, the dollar will rise, if tails it will fall

 

Your chances of being right are about the same as any economist.

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Yes, the AUD dropped slightly against the other currencies due to the rates drop to 2.75% but as some posters have said this is not good for people living of their own savings such as self funded retirees. They need to look for other options to raise money rather than term deposits and such. However, this is great news for people with mortgages.

Like anything, what suits one person, will not suit another.

As for me personally, I like the rate drop as I have a mortgage and I also like the high dollar as it buys me more travel, the two are not going to last though so I need to make hay while the sun shines. :D

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Im glad of the high australian dollar. It has allowed me to travel more. I rent as i decided that paying the property prices in melbourne was too much. I had to make a choice when i turned 40. Travel or buy a house. I chose travel. Ive never been hung up on owning a house, but always been passionate about seeing the world. However, i do salary scarfice sohopefully i wont be broke when i retire lol.

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It is still basically a "supply and demand" thing. For a number of reasons, there are many people/countries around the World who wish to buy and hold Australian Dollars. More now than at any time since the early 80's.

 

But the Aussie Dollar is actually now lower than at earlier times that I can personally remember. For example, I was sent to the UK for 6 months with the Navy in 1979 -- I had a ball there, what with the additional bonuses (for training and being "away from home") added to my already higher than the UK Navy's payrates plus the high exchange rate at that time. As a Junior Lieutenant, I recall that I was earning more than a UK Naval Captain (3 Ranks higher than me) :) I remember that the Poms did not like that at all!!! :)

 

Barry

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Appreciate so much these added comments and insights from Barry, Sarah, etc. Good, funny comment by gek on coin-flipping being, at times, smarter for figuring out these things than what the professional economists do. I have shared these items, plus the earlier one, with those on our roll call. Keep it coming, especially with the tips on avoiding doing the tipping, etc. Very helpful!!

 

From Jacs in Melbourne: "Terry with your earlier comment about he higher costs of things in Australia, just remember to factor in the fact that we don't tip here. So while the menu price at a restaurant may seem like its 15% more than what you pay at home, you aren't adding a 15% tip to the bill at the end. Plus our tax is always included in the advertised price of something, so shock when you get to the register and the price increases. Also knowing where to go for what helps too. Hotel restaurants will be expensive, as will ones with prime views of things like Sydney harbour bridge. We also don't really have cheap chain restaurants like Denny's and ihops. But you can find great restaurants with resonable prices in most cities. In Sydney for example there are lots in the darling harbour areas, they are all competing for business so you can get a great meal for a reasonable price, a main between 20-30 dollars (remember no tip required). For snacks and drinks, try to go a supermarket rather than a convenience store. A packet of chips in a convenience store can be $5, but only $2 in a supermarket. Same for drinks."

 

From MicCanberra in Canberra, National Capital of Australia: "Yes, the AUD dropped slightly against the other currencies due to the rates drop to 2.75% but as some posters have said this is not good for people living of their own savings such as self funded retirees. They need to look for other options to raise money rather than term deposits and such. However, this is great news for people with mortgages. Like anything, what suits one person, will not suit another. As for me personally, I like the rate drop as I have a mortgage and I also like the high dollar as it buys me more travel, the two are not going to last though so I need to make hay while the sun shines."

 

From icat2000 in Melbourne: "I'm glad of the high australian dollar. It has allowed me to travel more. I rent as i decided that paying the property prices in melbourne was too much. I had to make a choice when i turned 40. Travel or buy a house. I chose travel. I've never been hung up on owning a house, but always been passionate about seeing the world. However, i do salary scarfice sohopefully i wont be broke when i retire lol."

 

From bazzaw in SE Queensland, Australia: "It is still basically a 'supply and demand' thing. For a number of reasons, there are many people/countries around the World who wish to buy and hold Australian Dollars. More now than at any time since the early 80's. But the Aussie Dollar is actually now lower than at earlier times that I can personally remember. For example, I was sent to the UK for 6 months with the Navy in 1979 -- I had a ball there, what with the additional bonuses (for training and being 'away from home') added to my already higher than the UK Navy's payrates plus the high exchange rate at that time. As a Junior Lieutenant, I recall that I was earning more than a UK Naval Captain (3 Ranks higher than me) I remember that the Poms did not like that at all!!!"

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 129,281 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Also something to consider is that our dollar has been strong because of our stronger economy which has started to slow in recent times, but the Liberals who are expected to win the next election are traditionally known for reducing any deficit & keeping the country's bank account in the black.

 

So it's likely we will not be in the position the US has been with a lot of debt over the next few years if the election predictions are correct, so that will also help our dollar stay strong.

 

There is always some variation in currency when an election draws near, I think it will be up & down a little for a while then settle down again.

 

I hope it stays close to parity with the US dollar as we are spending 6.5 weeks in mostly the US/Canada in 3 months time, so I would like to get more bang for my buck! Plus not have to bother working out conversion rates. :D

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Plus not have to bother working out conversion rates. :D

That is always an added bonus. I like it when it basically one for one or something easy like Thailand (six to one). It is so much harder when you have to do the 3.4 to 1 or 65% or the like.:D

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Things are about to get a whole lot better after the 14th September.

 

John

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Things are about to get a whole lot better after the 14th September.

 

John

Yeah, but better for who? There are always winners and losers.:D

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I find the governance of our country is cyclic & having changing parties every 2 terms or so probably keeps things in balance overall.

 

One party will keep the country stronger but may be less giving to the individual, whilst another may be more generous to individuals/certain groups but at the expense of the bigger picture.

 

Personally, I find it makes no real difference to us which government is in power as we are self employed & get nothing from either government because we are not poor, but not rich & we don't have children.

 

We live in rural Australia where you get nothing anyway, in most rural areas people don't have a hand out mentality (we still don't have tar on our road, or fast broadband). So I assume our taxes go to support those that want to have babies or live in the city as we don't see them at work locally.:rolleyes:

 

We created our own two businesses from nothing & make sure we never borrow money for large expenses like holidays, cars etc, as I used to work in a bank when housing loan interest rates hit 18% & I remember how many people lost homes etc!

 

Most people today are way over committed & so are very affected by every small change in the economy. The wheel turns, the cycle continues & interest rates will rise again someday, bad for those in debt, but good for those living on investments.

 

Basically we expect nothing from any government in the way of hand outs & so are never disappointed! :D

 

If the Aussie dollar drops then we will spend less in port, go back on board to eat lunch, do more free sightseeing than paid excursions etc, we will adapt to whatever occurs.

 

I think if you follow the oft quoted " If life gives you lemons, make lemonade" then most things tend to work out OK. :)

 

One of the great things about cruises is that even if you have spent your last dollar before the cruise is over, you can still eat well & have a great time on board!

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One of the great things about cruises is that even if you have spent your last dollar before the cruise is over, you can still eat well & have a great time on board!

Yes, agreed. Eating well and having fun onboard while getting from place to place, is what cruising is all about.:D

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From The Age in Melbourne Thursday morning, they have this headline: "Soros mastermind says 'bet against Aussie' " with these highlights: "Stanley Druckenmiller – the man who famously made $US1 billion for George Soros by masterminding an attack on the British pound in 1992 – says investors should bet against the Australian dollar. 'We think the Australian dollar will come down and will come down hard,' Druckenmiller said today. 'It's expensive.' The statements follow revelation that Soros could have been behind a US$1 billion bet that the Reserve Bank would cut rates on Tuesday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars have each surged 45 per cent against the US dollar since the end of 2008, the biggest advances among over 150 currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Australia joins global counterparts in embracing record-low rates in an economy where inflation is contained. The Australian dollar fell for a third day, declining 0.2 per cent to $US1.0170 in afternoon trade in New York, after reaching a two-month low the previous day."

 

Full story at:

http://www.theage.com.au/business/soros-mastermind-says-bet-against-aussie-20130509-2j8zi.html

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 129,281 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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From The Age in Melbourne Thursday morning, they have this headline: "Soros mastermind says 'bet against Aussie' " with these highlights: "Stanley Druckenmiller – the man who famously made $US1 billion for George Soros by masterminding an attack on the British pound in 1992 – says investors should bet against the Australian dollar. 'We think the Australian dollar will come down and will come down hard,' Druckenmiller said today. 'It's expensive.' The statements follow revelation that Soros could have been behind a US$1 billion bet that the Reserve Bank would cut rates on Tuesday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars have each surged 45 per cent against the US dollar since the end of 2008, the biggest advances among over 150 currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Australia joins global counterparts in embracing record-low rates in an economy where inflation is contained. The Australian dollar fell for a third day, declining 0.2 per cent to $US1.0170 in afternoon trade in New York, after reaching a two-month low the previous day."

 

It would depend on whether the drop in the AUD will be long term or short term:D.

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It is still basically a "supply and demand" thing. For a number of reasons, there are many people/countries around the World who wish to buy and hold Australian Dollars. More now than at any time since the early 80's.

 

But the Aussie Dollar is actually now lower than at earlier times that I can personally remember. For example, I was sent to the UK for 6 months with the Navy in 1979 -- I had a ball there, what with the additional bonuses (for training and being "away from home") added to my already higher than the UK Navy's payrates plus the high exchange rate at that time. As a Junior Lieutenant, I recall that I was earning more than a UK Naval Captain (3 Ranks higher than me) :) I remember that the Poms did not like that at all!!! :)

 

Barry

 

That would also be because it was before the Australian Dollar was floated. WHen it was in 83 the value of it dropped significantly.

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Yeah, but better for who? There are always winners and losers.:D

 

Very true.

 

There's also a bit of mythmaking going on. The economic credentials under the last Liberal government were poor for the time. However, the times were very good externally and hence government dividends were good.

 

Just like investing in shares, it's easy to be a winning stock selector when the market's up overall. The true mettle is when the market's down. Some seem to think market = investor!

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So true about mythmaking.

 

Australia's debt is 26.9% of Gdp.

Japan 218.09%

UK 88.7%

USA 73.6%

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No matter how bad some people think the economy is, I think Australia is in a great place over all, and going from strength to strength. Australians are becoming whingers and it is all about 'whats in it for me' and 'what about me', when they should just get on with life and make it happen for themselves.:D

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If our economy wasn't that good, we wouldn't have attracted so many new ships here. Nor had so much of an increase in cruisers locally that's brought the foreign lines here. Nor had so many Aussies able to travel overseas on holidays as they are.

 

Times have been good! Will they stay that way...?

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Times have been good! Will they stay that way...?

Most likely not after September.

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Very true. There's also a bit of mythmaking going on. The economic credentials under the last Liberal government were poor for the time. However, the times were very good externally and hence government dividends were good. Just like investing in shares, it's easy to be a winning stock selector when the market's up overall. The true mettle is when the market's down. Some seem to think market = investor!

 

Appreciate the added comments and insights. Personally, I am very interested and love to engage in political "debate" and discussions. BUT, we have to "follow the rules" for these boards in not going there. I will follow with interest how your election battles play out in the next five months, but discussions here need to focus on cruises and certain of those indirect issues such as costs, currency values, etc., that impact our upcoming trips.

 

Australia and NZ have unique resources, histories, challenges, economics, etc., compared to other parts of the world. It's been fun to be reading and learning more on how all of those factors have played out and create the current situations in both countries.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 129,387 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Yes, that is why I do not talk politics or religion. I think optimism is a much better way of life when thinking about what may or may not happen in the future. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

BTW, dollar dropped again last night, down to $100.88 USD.:D

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If our economy wasn't that good, we wouldn't have attracted so many new ships here. Nor had so much of an increase in cruisers locally that's brought the foreign lines here. Nor had so many Aussies able to travel overseas on holidays as they are.

 

Times have been good! Will they stay that way...?

 

 

I think one of the biggest reasons that ships have been attracted downunder is the wealth of our Senior Citizens.

They have the time and resources to cruise, whether it be self or government funded.

Where else in the world are Seniors so lucky?

The cruise lines are just chasing those discretionary dollars.

 

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I think one of the biggest reasons that ships have been attracted downunder is the wealth of our Senior Citizens.

They have the time and resources to cruise, whether it be self or government funded.

Where else in the world are Seniors so lucky?

The cruise lines are just chasing those discretionary dollars.

 

Yes, the baby boomers have money to spend and they want a piece of it.:D

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Baby Boomer, that's me, retired at 55 and been cruising and travelling for the last 10 years. You cannot use that Visa Card in heaven.

 

Adventure before Dementia ! Spend Kids Inheritance and all that. LOL.

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Spend Kids Inheritance and all that. LOL.

Yes, I should have said the SKIers were enjoying themselves to the max.:D

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My father has finally joined that group, had absolutely no interest in travelling the world, yet we scoured every inch of Australia growing up. Now he's retired he suddenly has a thirst for adventure, and is setting off in June over to Europe for the first time, loading his touring motorbike onto a ship and picking it up in the UK. Doing the LeMan's, then biking around the UK and Europe, and has somehow managed to get an invite to go yaghting in Turkey! All this from a man who said there was no point in ever leaving this country :rolleyes:

 

I've very proud of him for expanding is horizons, but I think I have to forget the idea of ever getting an inheritence ;):p

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My father has finally joined that group, had absolutely no interest in travelling the world, yet we scoured every inch of Australia growing up. Now he's retired he suddenly has a thirst for adventure, and is setting off in June over to Europe for the first time, loading his touring motorbike onto a ship and picking it up in the UK. Doing the LeMan's, then biking around the UK and Europe, and has somehow managed to get an invite to go yaghting in Turkey! All this from a man who said there was no point in ever leaving this country :rolleyes:

 

I've very proud of him for expanding is horizons, but I think I have to forget the idea of ever getting an inheritence ;):p

Yes, but then you never know what is around the corner in anycase. At least he is enjoying himself. :D

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I have been encouraging all my older relatives to go out and travel and spend their money. It is thanks to me that my grandparents started cruising and it was only after I went on one first and gave them computers, internet so they could discover more about it. Its better to enjoy your own money rather than some fat-cat banker or financial guru "stealing" it in the GFC.

 

Come September I will be very happy to vote out one part and get back in the true professionals. Australias boom times for me and my cruising was money earned and saved prior to when the current goverment came into power. Ever since savings and ability to earn have taken a tumble compared to pre 2007.

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Ever since savings and ability to earn have taken a tumble compared to pre 2007.

If you can cast your mind back to 2007/8, a thing begun called the GFC.

It all began in the US. Not here, but you can blame the current Govt if it makes you feel better.

Edited by yatchet

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Honesty, where people in australia really that badly affected in the gfc. I could understand if you lost your job. But even though super funds took a hit most have bounced back. Not to the highs pre gfc. But mine returned 11 percent last year

Edited by icat2000

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Well!

After the original posts, the Australian unemployment rate for April was announced. it was lower than the previous month, so the idea that the Australian economy is about to go soft is not so likely now.

 

But with respect to cruises - tipping is just not done, unless your service staff perform the impossible! The prices for food are higher here, but so are the wages in the hospitality industry.

 

Australia is a very carefree and safe country, so enjoy your shore excursions!

 

As for our political situation, the differences are not as real as many like to imagine. The major parties huff and puff, and try to pretend everything will be different, but the numbers say something quite different!

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As for our political situation, the differences are not as real as many like to imagine. The major parties huff and puff, and try to pretend everything will be different, but the numbers say something quite different!

Couldn't agree more!

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Honesty, where people in australia really that badly affected in the gfc. I could understand if you lost your job.

 

People were losing their jobs, including many in the mining industries.

 

Then there was a lot of government stimulus that boosted domestic confidence to reduce the number of layoffs, Chinese demand picked up and mining recovered. However, the rest of the global economy has remained in the doldrums so there's a lot of gloom that kept everyone cautious. So while there weren't a lot more layoffs in general, there wasn't a great deal more hiring either. It's at a degree of equilibrium.

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People were losing their jobs, including many in the mining industries. Then there was a lot of government stimulus that boosted domestic confidence to reduce the number of layoffs, Chinese demand picked up and mining recovered. However, the rest of the global economy has remained in the doldrums so there's a lot of gloom that kept everyone cautious. So while there weren't a lot more layoffs in general, there wasn't a great deal more hiring either. It's at a degree of equilibrium.

 

Appreciate the various added insights and comments that help "educate" me on the various aspects of the Australia economy. The latest Aussie dollar is shown at $1.0014 this morning in the Wall Street Journal. Glad, for us, that things are moving in the "right" direction to help our US dollars buy more when we visit down under in early 2014. Obviously, what is "right" for us, might not be best for everyone. From following these issues, I now have a better idea for what has been happening recently with their economy. It will be interesting to see if and how their September elections affect these currency values.

 

From this original post I made on the Aust.-NZ board that attracted lots of comments from Aussies, this item was shared by Blue Elephant and I have posted it on our roll call: "with respect to cruises - tipping is just not done, unless your service staff perform the impossible! The prices for food are higher here, but so are the wages in the hospitality industry. Australia is a very carefree and safe country, so enjoy your shore excursions!"

 

I like that term "very carefree and safe"!! Very good and encouraging. Appreciate these various added background items and information.

 

From The Australian newspaper yesterday, they have this headline: "WA jobless reflects slower economic growth" with these highlights: "Unemployment in Western Australia has jumped above five per cent for the first time since February 2010 but the state still has the nation's lowest jobless rate. Last month, 5.2 per cent of people in WA didn't have a job, up from 4.8 per cent in March. It is a substantial jump considering the state's unemployment rate a year ago was 3.7 per cent. Western Australia still has the lowest jobless rate in Australia, slightly ahead of NSW at 5.3 per cent. Premier Colin Barnett admitted some of the heat had come out of the WA economy, particularly in the mining sector. 'While the WA economy is still growing faster than any other state, the pace is slowing from peak levels and that is reflected in the higher than anticipated increase in the unemployment rate for April,' he said."

 

Full story at:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/wa-jobless-rate-up-still-nations-lowest/story-fn3dxiwe-1226638644409

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Celebrity Solstice Visual Highlights? From our June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in France, Italy, Kotor and Dubrovnik, I have pull together a number of wonderful visuals of the Solstice, its features, food, entertainment, options, etc. We are now at 5,089 views for this shorter version of my larger full review of that cruise and all of the port pictures/details. Check these postings and added info at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1803477

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