Financial Year Wrap 2016/2017

Categories: Empowering you

Overall, the year was remarkable for being unremarkable. At least as far as the economy and financial markets performed. The year started with the fall-out from Brexit. There was a domestic election and the US Presidential election. In 2017 there has been a raft of elections in Europe. And there was the OPEC production agreement.

But despite the challenges, returns on shares, residential property and bonds have all lifted over the past year while interest rates are lower and the Aussie dollar is little changed from a year ago. In fact the Aussie dollar has tracked a range of US6.25 cents – the least volatile year in 27 years. The sharemarket has had the least volatile year in 16 years. And the record (and world-leading) Australian economic expansion continues.

The economy has grown by around 1.75-2.00 per cent in 2016/17 and we expect growth of around 3.0 per cent in 2017/18. Infrastructure will be a key driver of growth in 2017/18 with exports, while home building continues, especially in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane. Underlying inflation may lift from 1.7 per cent to 2.0 per cent over the coming financial year while unemployment may ease modestly from 4-year lows of 5.5 per cent currently to the 5.0-5.5 per cent range. Official interest rates may remain on hold for another year.


2016/2017 Market Snapshot


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Report: Remarkable for being unremarkable

Total returns on Australian shares came in at 13.1% over 2016/17 (20-year average +10.8 per cent) – the best gain in three years.

Report: 2016/17 chart pack

CommSec provides up-to-date charts on the Australian and international economies, financial markets & asset classes.

Video: Economic & sharemarket outlook

CommSec Chief Economist Craig James provides his outlook for the year ahead, including his forecasts for the Australian economy, local share market, Aussie dollar and RBA cash rate.

Video: The Australian economy

CBA Chief Economist Michael Blythe discusses the performance of the Australian economy over the past financial year, and the outlook for the year ahead.

Video: Currency outlook

CBA Senior Currency Strategist Elias Haddad speaks with CommSec Market Analyst Tom Piotrowski about the outlook for the US dollar and the Australian dollar.

Video: Outlook for bond yields & rates

CBA Head of Fixed Income & Rates Research, Adam Donaldson provides his outlook for US bond yields and Australian interest rates.

Video: Options Insights

CommSec Exchange Traded Options Dealer, Omid Shakibaei discusses potential strategies for investors with a bullish, bearish or neutral outlook.

Video: Outlook for energy prices

CBA Mining & Energy Commodities Analyst Vivek Dhar speaks with CommSec Market Analyst Tom Piotrowski about the outlook for oil, gas and electricity prices.

Video: Outlook for commodity prices

CBA Mining & Energy Commodities Analyst Vivek Dhar provides his outlook for gold, iron ore, coal, nickel and bauxite prices.