Tag: calendar year

Australia’s record hiring spree may be about to ramp up even more

Australia’s record hiring spree may be about to ramp up even more

The employment index in the NAB’s monthly business survey jumped to the highest level on record in February, suggesting that strong hiring levels will likely continue.
With strong levels of population growth, elevated hiring levels will need to continue to help lower unemployment and lift wage pressures.
Australian employment growth roared back to life in 2017, adding over 400,000 jobs, the most over a calendar year on record.
While he admits the employment index has overstated total employment growth in Australia over the last year, Alan Oster, Chief Economist at the NAB, says the latest reading suggests hiring levels will likely remain elevated in the months ahead.
“If the surge in the employment index is maintained you would expect to see jobs growth of around 27,000 per month,” he says.
As Oster points out, business conditions are currently the best they’ve ever been, according to survey respondents, with trading and profitability both at extremely elevated levels.
“In the breakdown, the strength in the employment index appears to owe almost entirely to stronger gains in the mining sector, and concentrated in Western Australia,” said Henry St John, Economist at JP Morgan.
“Capacity utilisation, which offers a better signal on the trajectory of the unemployment rate, edged lower to 82.5% from 82.7%.” Markets will get to decide themselves on the current strength of the labour market, and whether the recent hiring spree of 2017 will continue in the months ahead, with the ABS set to release Australia’s official jobs report for February on Thursday, March 22.
Many will be hoping that the NAB is right that progress has been made on lowering underutilisation in recent months, especially those workers in the private sector whose wages are barely keeping up with inflation.
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Commercial insurance rates rise in fourth quarter

Commercial insurance rates rise in fourth quarter

Insurance pricing increased in most commercial lines in the fourth quarter of 2017, although rates for workers compensation continued to fall, according to insurance exchange Ivans Insurance Solutions.
Commercial auto insurance premium renewal rates increased by 3.1% on average in the fourth quarter, the Tampa, Florida-based unit of insurance technology firm Applied Systems Inc. said Wednesday in a statement.
Commercial auto insurers have reported poor results for the past two years, and the average commercial auto premium renewal rate increased 2.9% for all of 2017.
Florida saw the biggest annual rate hike with a 5.2% average increase in 2017.
Commercial property rates increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter and 3.1% for the full year.
Policyholders in Florida and Texas, which were hit hardest by hurricane losses in 2017, experienced different responses from insurers.
Average property premium rates in Florida increased 1.4% in 2017, and rates in Texas increased 4.1%, according to Ivans.
General liability rates increased 1.9% in the fourth quarter, and rates for business owner’s policies, which are package policies bought by small businesses, increased 3.9% in the quarter.
Umbrella rates increased 1.3%, compared with 1.5% in the third quarter, and workers compensation rates fell 2.3% in the fourth quarter, compared with a 1.2% decline in the third quarter.

Premium pricing continues decline in second quarter 2017

Premium pricing continues decline in second quarter 2017

Premium pricing continues decline in second quarter 2017.
Commercial property/casualty rates continued to decline for the 10th straight quarter, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers said Thursday.
On average, second-quarter rates declined 2.8% across all sizes of accounts, according to the brokerage trade group’s survey, similar to the 2.5% decrease in the first quarter.
The biggest sector decline was in commercial property at 3.6%, followed by workers compensation and general liability, both at 2.7%.
Umbrella was down 1.4%.
“While premium pricing in commercial auto continued to go against market trends, most other lines remained soft but appeared to be flattening to some extent,” Ken A. Crerar, the council’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
“In response to a soft and competitive market, we also saw carriers opt towards improving terms and conditions over dropping premium rates.” The majority of respondents said that the market remained competitive this quarter, with plenty of capacity.
Attracting and retaining talent was once again a consistent trend this quarter among companies of all sizes.
Talent management was the No.
1 business concern for respondents, followed by price competition and excess capacity, uncertainty in health insurance reform, and data security, the council said.

Global insurance rates continue downward trend: Marsh

Global insurance rates continue downward trend: Marsh

Global insurance rates decreased for the 17th consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2017, largely due to substantial capacity and a competitive underwriting market, Marsh L.L.C.
said Tuesday.
However, the decreases are leveling off, according to Marsh’s Global Insurance Index, which found that global insurance rate decreases moderated on average for the sixth consecutive quarter, down 2.2%, compared with the previous quarter’s decrease of 2.3%.
Rate decreases moderated globally in the second quarter across property and financial and professional lines, the report said.
Global property rates declined an average of 2.8% in the second quarter compared with a decrease of 3.6% in the first quarter, while financial and professional lines declined by 2.1%, compared to 2.6% in the previous quarter.
“The second quarter of 2017 marked the 17th consecutive quarter in which average rates declined,” Dean Klisura, global industry specialties and placement leader at Marsh, said in a statement, “largely due to a market with significant capacity and a competitive underwriting environment.” The U.S. commercial insurance rate decline for the second quarter was higher than the overall global rate, Marsh said, a change from the first quarter, and was driven largely by casualty lines, which declined an average of 2.3% after having risen by 0.4% in the first quarter.
The change in casualty lines was largely due to an increase in the average rate of decline in workers compensation pricing and a smaller, continuing increase in average auto liability pricing.
U.S. cyber insurance rates decreased an average of 1.5% in the second quarter, the first time since 2012 that average cyber rates declined for two consecutive quarters.
Renewal rates declined in the U.K. across all major product lines, although the average rate of decline moderated in casualty to 1.7% from 4.2%.
Continental Europe’s commercial insurance rate decreases, on average, were slightly above the global average rate of decline.