The Economic Observer looks at the impact of increasing interest rates and how this could change the Australian Banking Sector in the future.
are a healthy lot
THEY have been criticised for being over-confident, under-motivated, technology-addicted, fake-tanned, frivolous and obsessed with fame.
But Generation Y is growing up.
Debunking myths about laziness and vanity, a new study of 1000 gen-Yers’ body image and well-being has found that the nation’s young adults have smartened up to healthy habits.
The survey was commissioned by Clearasil to coincide with the launch of their Secrets of Looking Awesome website. More than half of those surveyed identified exercise as the key to beauty and a healthy body.
And 35 per cent of respondents recognised the importance of healthy eating.
The survey’s findings were reinforced on the Esplanade yesterday.
“I play tennis with my friends and I try to eat a healthy diet all the time,” Daniela Reif, 19, said at the Lagoon.
“When you’re fit, you look better and then of course you start to feel better.”
The age bracket, which accounts for people aged about 17-30, identified Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice as a person who represents “looking and feeling awesome.”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
© The Cairns Post
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New Year’s resolutions: making them work
Most of us have set New Year’s resolutions for ourselves in the past and had the experience of not sticking with them. This year, we’ve put together some expert tips to help you achieve your goals. Good luck!
Make your resolution ‘SMART’
A good resolution like any good goal is ‘SMART’. That stands for:
- Specific — Instead of setting a vague goal such as lose weight, set a specific goal, such as ‘I want to lose weight and I plan to do it through swimming 3 times a week and cutting 1000 kilojoules a day from my intake’. People who set specific goals are more successful than those who don’t. Make sure you write your goals down, and any smaller interim steps within your goal, as this will help you to define them.
- Measurable — Instead of ‘I want to lose weight’, set a goal like ‘I want to lose 15 kg so I can achieve my goal weight of 85 kg’.
- Achievable — Do you have the skills and resources needed to complete the goal? If you want to enter an organised cycle ride in the future — do you have a bike to train for the ride? Can you ride during daylight hours? Is your goal practical? Does it fit in with your lifestyle and your family?
- Relevant — Is your goal relevant to your bigger picture goals? Does it fit with your long-term vision?
- Timely — Make sure your goal has a deadline — and that you have set dates for individual steps within your main goal. For example, ‘I’ll be able to walk to the local shops and back by February’.
If your resolution is to get fit and you hate going to the gym with a passion, don’t plan on signing up for an expensive gym programme. Target other ways to increase physical activity, such as walking to the shops and carrying the shopping home, or gardening, bushwalking and manual labour.
Take baby steps
Running magazines often carry inspirational stories about people who’ve just completed their first 10 km run, half-marathon or even marathon — people who months earlier couldn’t run around the block. These people all share something in common — they didn’t start by lacing up their shoes and launching themselves into a 10 km run, only to injure themselves and never try again. Most of them started by simply walking!
By walking regularly they prepared their muscles and tendons for running, and started an exercise habit. Then by adding 15 seconds of light jogging into their walks here and there, they worked up to a point where they could walk and jog for a few minutes alternately. Eventually, they could go out and jog for 15 or 20 minutes. Next thing, they were lining up for their first fun run. Often it took months, but by setting small achievable targets, these people were always focused on a goal, and were rewarded when they reached it. Taking baby steps like this and setting smaller goals is a good way to move towards a big goal.
|Small steps to . . .|
Switch from full-cream milk to reduced-fat or skim milk. After a couple of weeks you probably won’t miss the taste and you’ve made a sustainable change to your diet. Now you can move onto making other healthy changes.
Resolve to walk some of the flights of stairs to your office, instead of taking the lift every day. Or take the stairs when there’s an option, such as in your local shopping centre. At first you may huff and puff your way up there, but you’ll soon get stronger.
Don’t overtax your willpower
Some experts believe that we shouldn’t overwhelm our willpower and self-discipline by attempting to make too many lifestyle changes at once. Certainly, I’m sure we’ve all had friends who’ve tried to quit smoking, lose weight and get fit all at once and who’ve failed. Far better to start exercising your willpower in the way that you would start exercising your muscles — carefully and with small challenges — that way you can gradually develop inner strength.
Record your progress
Keep a diary or a log of your progress — it will serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come and give you encouragement if you’re feeling disheartened. Psychologists have shown that keeping a record can aid compliance in many tasks, such as weight loss or fitness goals. Take time to review your goals and adjust them if necessary as you go. Make sure to reward yourself with something healthy when you achieve your mini goals.
Enlist the support of those around you. If family, friends and work colleagues are aware of your goals, they’re much more likely to be supportive and to encourage you to stay on track when you’re struggling.
Find a workout mate or a buddy to quit smoking or lose weight with. You’re more likely to keep a workout date if you’re doing the activity with a friend, or you’re a member of a club.
Website forums and social media can be a useful way of meeting someone with the same goal, who you can swap encouragement and tips with. Many quit smoking websites offer programmes with regular email newsletters or SMS inspirational messages to help keep you on track. For weight loss, there are many online programmes, and also clubs that meet in person, that provide support and inspiration to help ease your journey towards your goal.
Top Ten New Year Resolutions….
1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Tame the Bulge
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized
Last reviewed: 13 October 2010
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Document obtained from http://mydr.com.au/nutrition-weight/new-year-s-resolutions-making-them-work
Minutes of the RBA’s November meeting point to interest rates staying on hold until early next year
- The RBA Board’s decision to increase interest rates was ‘finely balanced’. The RBA was of the view that economic data released in the last month seemed to indicate that ‘the medium-term economic outlook remained one of strengthening economic activity and gradually rising inflation’.
- The latest global and domestic economic data is consistent with the Boards ‘central scenario’ and as a result further interest rate rises can be expected early next year.
- The RBA indicated that they consider the lending rates by financial institutions when deciding whether or not to move interest rates.
The minutes released on the 16th November indicate that the RBA’s key reasons for increasing the official cash rate were as follows:
The RBA’s view that some of the reasons for keeping interest rates on hold over the past five months had abated somewhat. These included:
- A substantial slowing in global economic growth
- Less uncertainty about China’s outlook with solid growth expected
- In the medium term Australia’s inflation is likely to move higher due to a lack of spare capacity in the economy ; and
- The RBA underestimated the strength of commodity prices.
Global and Chinese economic growth
There is no change to the RBA’s global economic growth outlook. The RBA expects the global economy to grow around trend growth for the next couple of years.
The RBA’s view on the US and European economies has hardly changed. While the RBA minutes noted that ‘business investment was gradually picking up’ in the US they still believe that the risk is to the downside. They highlighted a number of factors contributing to this risk, including a lack of spending by the consumer, a soft labour market and debt problems. Overall the RBA is of the opinion that ‘the expansion of the US economy remained weak’.
The RBA noted that one of the only bright spots in Europe is Germany and the UK surprised the market with stronger than expected economic growth. Elsewhere in Europe ‘consumption growth and labour markets remained weak and the planned fiscal consolidation was weighing on the outlook’.
The RBA has become more confident about the economic outlook for China. At the October Board meeting the RBA thought there was a chance that China could experience a larger than expected slow-down. However at the November Board meeting the RBA seems to be more certain about the strength of the Chinese economy with expectations that the ‘economy was continuing to grow solidly and was not experiencing a greater-than-expected slowdown’.
Australian economy and inflation outlook
There is no change to the RBA’s domestic economic growth outlook. The RBA still expects Australia’s economy ‘to evolve broadly as expected’ in line with their central scenario.
From an inflation perspective the Board is of the view that underlying inflation has bottomed out at 2.5% for the year ending September 2010. While the September year on year underlying inflation figure came in below RBA expectations they still believe that their medium-term forecast is likely given the ‘relatively modest amount of spare capacity in the economy’.
Since the October Board meeting there has been no change to the RBA’s view on the following:
- Strength of the domestic labour market,
- High level of consumer sentiment and cautious spending by households
- Credit growth and housing prices remain subdued
- Investment intentions remain in line with expectations
- The dampening impact on inflation by the Australia dollar
Implications for the official cash rate
The RBA concluded that an increase in rates in November was justified because ‘the balance of risks had shifted to the point where a modest tightening of monetary policy was prudent’.
Based on the minutes of the RBA Monetary Policy Meeting for November it seems that interest rates are on hold for the rest of the year although this outlook may be affected by unexpected changes to the key considerations above.
Last updated 17 November 2010
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