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Found 436 results

  1. Guest

    Gsm visa update 19 july 2011

    GENERAL SKILLED MIGRATION PROCESSING INFORMATION This is an automated e-mail response which provides updated information on processing of applications for General Skilled Migration (GSM). Updated 18 July 2011. Please do not send enquiries or reply to this email address as this mailbox is not monitored. Important - GSM processing priorities have changed in line with Ministerial Direction No. 50. For details please see here - http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/24apriority_skilled.htm Processing Dates Applicants who lodged a GSM application before the following dates have been contacted by a case officer: Priority Group 1 Skilled – Regional subclass 887 VB 887 (e-lodged) 20 June 2011 VB 887 (paper): 20 June 2011 Priority Group 2 There are no GSM visa classes in priority group 2 Priority Group 3 *Priority 3 applications are currently being allocated within two weeks of DIAC receiving confirmation of a valid nomination from the relevant State/ Territory Government. Applicants in priority group 3 are therefore encouraged, where possible, to provide decision ready applications to enable efficient processing and finalisation of their applications. Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176 VE 176 (e-lodged): 10 July 2011 VE 176 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886: VB 886 (e-lodged) 10 July 2011 VB 886 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475 VF 475 (e-lodged): 10 July 2011 VF 475 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 487 VC 487 (e-lodged) 10 July 2011 VC 487 (paper): 10 July 2011 Priority Group 4 Skilled – Independent (Migrant) subclass 175 VE 175 (e-lodged):10 August 2010 VE 175 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176 VE 176 (e-lodged): 10 August 2010 VE 176 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475 VF 475 (e-lodged): 10 August 2010 VF 475 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) subclass 495 and Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored subclass 496 UX 495 and UZ 496 (e-lodged and paper): All applicants who have an occupation on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 3 have been allocated. Skilled – Independent (Residence) subclass 885 VB 885 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VB 885 (paper): 20 April 2011 Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886: VB 886 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VB 886 (paper): 20 April 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 487 VC 487 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VC 487 (paper): 20 April 2011 Priority Group 5 (See attached file: Important information for applicants in priority group 5.pdf) Processing of priority group 5 applications can only commence once all applications from higher priority groups have been allocated for assessment. Priority Exempt Applications Visa Subclasses 476, 485 and 887 are exempt from the current priority processing direction. Applications under these subclasses will be processed in the order in which they were received by the department. Skilled - Graduate subclass 485 VC 485 (e-lodged) - 22 December 2009 VC 485 (paper) - 22 December 2009 Skilled – Recognised Graduate subclass 476 VF 476 (e-lodged): 28 February 2011 VF 476 (paper): 28 February 2011 Subsequent Entrant Applications All subsequent entrant applications for subclasses 485, 487 and 475: 2 April 2011 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Important Notice: If you have received this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and attachments immediately. This email, including attachments, may contain confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. DIAC respects your privacy and has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988. The official departmental privacy policy can be viewed on the department's website at http://www.immi.gov.au. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/functional/privacy.htm
  2. rebejes3

    DIAC's Processing Update

    GENERAL SKILLED MIGRATION PROCESSING INFORMATION This is an automated e-mail response which provides updated information on processing of applications for General Skilled Migration (GSM). Updated 18 July 2011. Please do not send enquiries or reply to this email address as this mailbox is not monitored. Important - GSM processing priorities have changed in line with Ministerial Direction No. 50. For details please see here - http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/24apriority_skilled.htm Processing Dates Applicants who lodged a GSM application before the following dates have been contacted by a case officer: Priority Group 1 Skilled – Regional subclass 887 VB 887 (e-lodged) 20 June 2011 VB 887 (paper): 20 June 2011 Priority Group 2 There are no GSM visa classes in priority group 2 Priority Group 3 *Priority 3 applications are currently being allocated within two weeks of DIAC receiving confirmation of a valid nomination from the relevant State/ Territory Government. Applicants in priority group 3 are therefore encouraged, where possible, to provide decision ready applications to enable efficient processing and finalisation of their applications. Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176 VE 176 (e-lodged): 10 July 2011 VE 176 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886: VB 886 (e-lodged) 10 July 2011 VB 886 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475 VF 475 (e-lodged): 10 July 2011 VF 475 (paper): 10 July 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 487 VC 487 (e-lodged) 10 July 2011 VC 487 (paper): 10 July 2011 Priority Group 4 Skilled – Independent (Migrant) subclass 175 VE 175 (e-lodged):10 August 2010 VE 175 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176 VE 176 (e-lodged): 10 August 2010 VE 176 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475 VF 475 (e-lodged): 10 August 2010 VF 475 (paper): 10 August 2010 Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) subclass 495 and Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored subclass 496 UX 495 and UZ 496 (e-lodged and paper): All applicants who have an occupation on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 3 have been allocated. Skilled – Independent (Residence) subclass 885 VB 885 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VB 885 (paper): 20 April 2011 Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886: VB 886 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VB 886 (paper): 20 April 2011 Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 487 VC 487 (e-lodged) 1 May 2011 VC 487 (paper): 20 April 2011
  3. UK spending power improves Inflation abates to 4.2% while average earnings accelerate to rise by 2.3% Game over for higher Australian interest rates. Sterling moved higher last week with no sense of urgency. It was not until Wednesday that it got into its stride; two and a half days later it was two and a half cents higher and close to the week's high. After covering a range of three and a half cents, the pound opened in London yesterday a net two and a half cents higher on the week. Sterling did its best to keep its head down, with few UK economic statistics to mess things up. The RICS house price balance and the BRC retail sales monitor came out early on Tuesday. Both figures were bad in the traditional sense; the RICS figure showed a net 27% of estate agents reporting lower prices and the BRC said retail sales in June were down by -0.6% compared with June last year. However, both were better than the previous month's result so they didn’t create too much mischief. On Friday, Rightmove reported a -1.6% monthly fall in residential property asking prices that left them still a long way from reality. Seven out of ten properties offered for sale this year are still in the estate agent's window and there was not even the hint of a suggestion that the other three had sold. The two data sets most likely to make a difference were Tuesday's inflation figures and the employment numbers on Wednesday. After rising by 4.5% in the 12 months to April and May, Britain's consumer price index went up by only 4.2% in the year to June. The Bank of England is sure to have been happy to see the tick-back, as are savers who now see their money being eroded less quickly. Investors, who might have been expected to see the change as lessening upward pressure on interest rates, did not seem perturbed. Nor were they taken aback on Wednesday by a higher than expected 24.5k monthly increase in the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance. Instead they apparently focused on average earnings, which were up by an annual 2.3% in the May quarter. Combined with the drop in inflation to 4.2%, it means spending power is falling by only -1.8% a year rather than the -2.5% implied by the previous month's figures. It might not be cause for celebration on the high street, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. The Aussie dollar's main handicap was the ongoing concern that Euroland will make a mess of the Greek/Irish/Portuguese/Italian debt problem, panicking financial markets and sending the global economy into a tailspin. As the week progressed, nervousness was also growing about the US debt ceiling. If America is to pay its bills after 2 August it needs to borrow more money, a course not permissible unless the borrowing limit is raised by congress. The prospect of that not happening because of intransigence on the Hill and in the White House increased the threat of a downgrade to US Treasury Bonds and a setback for the global economy. Against that background the Aussie was always going to have a traction problem. Another slowdown would inevitably dampen demand for its commodity and energy exports. The economic data didn’t provide much help. NAB's business survey registered a big fat zero on the confidence scale, while Westpac's consumer confidence index fell by more than three percentage points to -8.3%. Although the employment situation is holding up well, some other Australian economic indicators are not as punchy as they once were. It is perhaps because of this that investors and analysts have changed their minds about a rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia later this year. Westpac now expects "a sequence of rate cuts beginning with 25 basis points in December 2011 and through 2012 totalling 100 basis points prior to a period of steady rates [at 3.75%] in 2013". If it lasts, that change of emphasis is likely to be a significant negative factor for the Australian dollar. It will not be a busy week for statistics in either Australia or Britain. The main event for the AUD, especially in view of the new rate outlook, will be Thursday's publication of the RBA minutes. The week brings even fewer UK ecostats than the one just gone. Beyond Nationwide's consumer confidence index, public sector net borrowing and June's retail sales there is nothing other than the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee's July meeting. The last few days have thrown up multiple examples of the FX market's unpredictability and there will almost certainly be more this week.
  4. samk6

    PCC Status Update....

    Hi dear All, I have done and sent both PCC and medicals.My medical has finalized and has updated in the Online Application Status. But it don't show any thing regarding my PCC. i handed over my PCC to my agent. Agent told that they have already sent the PCC. What would be the reason for this? Your reply will be really appreciated... Thanx Samk6
  5. Debabrown

    Passport update?

    Hi all we have recently been granted our visa's (yipeeeeeeeeeee:spinny:) and I wondered if you still need to send passports off to have the visa stamp put in or is this all electronic now?
  6. LOW-PROFILE STERLING DODGES MOST BULLETS NIESR estimates UK economy grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter Australian employment rebounds in June For the first three days of the week sterling looked comfortably lodged within a cent-and-a-half channel. On Thursday morning it moved lower, eventually touching a record low against the Aussie. Friday afternoon brought a bounce of nearly two cents, courtesy of a hugely disappointing US employment report. When London opened yesterday morning the week's net damage amounted to a little less than one cent. The UK economic data were not a great problem for sterling. Purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) for the construction and services sectors were no worse than expected. For construction, the figure was down by less than half a point on the month and exactly on target at 53.6. The services PMI came in at 53.9 – better than forecast and fractionally higher on the month. House prices were up by 1.2% in June, according to the Halifax, and the annual decline slowed from -4.2% to -3.5%. The British Retail Consortium revealed its shop price (inflation) index at midnight, showing a 2.9% annual rise in the year to June – the highest reading since October 2008. The UK industrial and manufacturing production data included good and bad news. Manufacturing production rose by 1.8% in May instead of the predicted 1.0%, and the annual increase was 2.8% instead of the -0.6% decline investors had been expecting. The broader industrial production figures, which include energy and mining production, came in lower than expected at 0.9% and -0.8% for the month and the year. Producer prices continued to accelerate, with UK manufacturers' costs rising by 17.0% in the year to June, while factory gate prices rose by 5.7%. The one fly in sterling's ointment was the estimate by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research for gross domestic product growth in the second quarter. At 0.1% it was close enough to zero to mean a risk that the official figures later this month could turn out to be negative. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee conformed to market expectations on Thursday, leaving the Bank Rate steady at 0.5% for a 29th month and making no new asset purchases. Investors will be keen to see the minutes of the meeting, which come out on 20 July, to see how the voting went and how much consideration the Committee gave to a renewal of quantitative easing with the asset purchase programme. Australia's PMIs did not look at all good. The services PMI was a point and a half lower in June at 48.5. The construction index languished at 35.8 on a scale of 0-100 where anything below 50 represents shrinking activity. Australia's trade surplus looked good though, rising to $2.3 billion in May from April's upwardly-revised $1.6 billion. Better yet were the June employment figures. Unemployment held steady at 4.9% while the employment change number showed 23.4k new jobs – far better than the 15.3k increase that investors had been expecting. There was little reaction to the Reserve Bank of Australia's announcement that it would be holding the cash rate at 4.75% for another month. Governor Glenn Stevens said in his statement that "CPI inflation is expected to be close to target over the next 12 months" and that "the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate". Investors will not be holding their breath for a rate increase. The biggest move of the week came on Friday afternoon after the US Bureau of Labor revealed its latest employment report. Including revisions to earlier months, US payrolls fell by -22k in May. Investors had been looking for a figure to the north of +100k. The extremely weak performance made investors nervous about the global economy as a whole and they sold risk-related assets, including commodity-export-related currencies. The Aussie dropped nearly two cents against the pound in less than an hour and has recovered very little of that loss. This week kicked off with an unremarkable 4.4% increase in housing loans. The number was close to forecast. All that’s left on this week's Australian agenda is subjective measures for business conditions, business confidence, consumer confidence and inflation expectations. The UK data are crammed into today and tomorrow, which started with the RICS house price balance, the BRC retail sales figure and Nationwide consumer confidence at midnight yesterday. Today there’s the trade deficit and the inflation numbers. CPI inflation is forecast to be steady at 4.5% for a third month with RPI 5.2% higher on the year. Tomorrow the employment statistics could well repeat the patter of recent months with more people in work and simultaneously more people claiming jobseekers' allowance. The AUD is close to record highs against the US dollar and has just scored a new one against the pound. But however tempting it might be to look for a reversal, history teaches that unjustifiable currency strength is not in itself reason for a turnaround. Almost every currency move goes too far. The problem is that it’s impossible to tell until afterwards what constitutes "too far". Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing.
  7. The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been updated. There are 13 occupations added and four occupations have been removed. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/solfact-sheet.pdf
  8. Prospect of renewed QE puts sterling to flight MPC apparently gave serious consideration to more asset purchases. RBA reverses interest rate expectations again. Last week cost the pound another quarter of a cent against the Aussie, but there was never a sense of panic. There was not even much sense of movement, with a range of less than three cents for a second week. There were very few economic data to make it move. Public sector net borrowing was £15.2 billion –less than the expected £16.3 billion. The two surveys from the Confederation of British Industry pointed in opposite directions: industrial orders were up by 1% when they should have fallen by -5% and retail sales fell by -2% instead of rising by the predicted 12%. British Bankers' Association mortgage approvals in May numbered 30,500 – better than the previous month's 29,700, but still pretty pathetic. So it was not the ecostats that sent the pound lower at mid-week. It was the Bank of England. On Tuesday Paul Fisher, the Bank's director of markets and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), told a conference in London that the possibility of further quantitative easing was still on the MPC’s table. "It hasn't been ruled out", he said. If investors did not like the sound of that, they were mightily unimpressed by the minutes of the June MPC meeting, which came out the following day. There was no problem with the 7/2 vote in favour of keeping the Bank Rate at 0.5% for a 28th month. With Andrew Sentance having completed his three-year term on the Committee at the end of May, one of the three votes for a rate increase had gone. Mr Sentance's replacement on the MPC, Ben Broadbent, might favour higher rates but he saw no point in going head-to-head with the governor at his first meeting. The problem lay in the Committee's apparently protracted discussion about renewed asset purchases. As Paul Fisher had warned the previous day, further quantitative easing is still up for grabs. For investors who favour currencies with rising interest rates, this was a potential step in exactly the wrong direction. Sterling took an immediate hit and carried on lower. The week's two Australian ecostats put the Westpac leading index at 0.2% in April after an upwardly-revised 0.6%, and the Conference Board leading index at 0.1% following a -0.1% for March (revised down from +0.4%). Taken as a pair, they did not tell investors much. The one bit of excitement arose from the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy meeting earlier this month. Recent comments by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens had been taken as hints that Australian interest rates would be going up sooner rather than later. Tuesday's minutes appeared to contradict that urgency. The penultimate sentence said that the Board "therefore considered that the current monetary policy setting was appropriate”. When central bankers talk of a policy rate being "appropriate", they mean they are not thinking of changing it. The news did not go down well with investors and the Australian dollar received a half-cent smack. This week's Australian statistics cover private sector lending, the AiG manufacturing purchasing managers' index and new home sales. UK statistics are only slightly more plentiful this week compared to last. Today brings the finalised figure for first quarter gross domestic product, together with business investment and the current account deficit. On Wednesday there is money supply, consumer credit and the overall mortgage approvals number. Nationwide's house price index might or might not emerge on Thursday, and Friday's sole offering is the manufacturing purchasing managers' index. Like the other commodity currencies, the Australian dollar is feeling the pinch as a result of the blow dealt to investor confidence by the potential bankruptcy of Greece. But sterling is also under the cosh, partly as a result of the reawakened fear of QE and partly because a disaster in Greece would do no favours to Britain. Buyers of the Australian dollar would be wise to continue to hedge their risk, fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  9. INVESTORS STILL WARY OF BOE ASSET PURCHASES Bank again resurrects the possibility of renewed QE. Aussie prospers as confidence returns. The Australian dollar was one of a handful of currencies to strengthen by around 2% against the pound last week. The pound began last week in reasonably buoyant mood, rising by half a cent on Monday morning. After that it was a different story. By Thursday afternoon the pound was four and a half cents off its high and at a record low. Since then it has been treading water in a cent-and-a-half range, going nowhere and shouting for help. The UK economy was unable to throw up any convincing evidence of progress. The finalised figures for first-quarter gross domestic product served only to remind investors of the big problem that faces the chancellor and his adoring electorate: prices are going up and incomes are not. Earlier in the month the 4.5% inflation figure and the 1.8% rise in average earnings showed spending power going down by -2.7% a year. The GDP numbers confirmed that the economy grew by 0.5% in Q1 (incidentally the same performance as that put in by the United States). What they also showed, though, was that household spending had gone up in money terms while the volume of goods and services had fallen. Bluntly, Brits are paying more for less. The rest of the week's ecostats did little to improve sterling's situation. Mortgage approvals in May numbered just under 46k, half as many as for the same month 20 years ago. Consumer confidence fell from -21 to -25 in June. Nationwide's house price index was unchanged between May and June, -1.1% lower than a year earlier. The manufacturing sector purchasing managers' index, which assesses activity and order levels, was down by three quarters of a point to 51.3 (50 represents stagnation while anything lower than that means shrinkage). Sterling's main problem was a renewed fear that the Bank of England might decide on another round of the quantitative easing that saw it purchase £200 billion of government and corporate bonds in 2009-10. Adam Posen is the Monetary Policy Committee member who has constantly been pushing for another £50 billion to help lubricate the economy. He was at it again at the beginning of the week, arguing against the criticism by the Bank for International Settlements that the MPC was being negligent in its duty to hold down inflation. He dismissed the BIS call for higher interest rates as "nonsense". The following day his colleague, Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, did his best to defuse the situation, saying: "This is not a committee that's drifting towards thinking that more stimulus may be needed." He told that to parliament's Treasury Committee and he might have managed to put the genie back in the bottle had he not been accompanied to Westminster by the governor and by written statements from two more MPC members. Sir Mervyn King insisted that a further round of quantitative easing (asset purchases) is still an option because it is "... a perfectly conventional monetary policy tool. This is something we can do." As for higher interest rates, the governor also leaned towards Adam Posen's point of view. Rates would only go up "in the context of a much stronger economy, with unemployment falling rather than rising". The supporting statements from David Miles and Spencer Dale suggested both of those conditions were unlikely to arise anytime soon. One of them spoke of "risks that the recovery in output becomes weaker and then disappears"; the other said "the economic recovery in the UK remains fragile." The market's inference was that it might be another year before UK interest rates head higher. The Australian dollar's fortunes were in the hands of Greece. As the week progressed investors became steadily more confident that Greece would swallow its austerity medicine, thus earning the next €12 billion cheque from last year's bailout fund and qualifying for a second bailout when that one runs out. True enough, the Greek parliament voted for the austerity package and then voted for the hideous details it includes — pay cuts, tax increases and all. By Friday it seemed all that remained was to compose the congratulatory telegrams. As the Greek problem evaporated before their very eyes, investors embraced the Aussie dollar and other commodity-oriented currencies. Although there is still a massive question mark over the proposed restructuring of Greek government debt, investors feel comfortable at the moment that the authorities will come up with a way to avoid it becoming an event of default, so forcing some banks to book sizeable losses. As long as that default can be dodged, investors believe the global economy can rebuild a head of steam and, with it, an appetite for Australia's commodity exports. The Australian ecostats did not have much to do with the dollar's spurt to stardom, partly because they were not much good and partly because there were not many of them. The best result was AiG's manufacturing PMI, which jumped by five points to 52.9. Private sector credit fell short of forecast with a 3.1% annual and a 0.3% monthly increase. New home sales were down by a monthly -0.2%, reversing the previous month's increase. This week opened with a slump in the number of building permits issued in May. The figure was -7.9% down on April and -14.4% fewer than May 2010. Retail sales were down by a monthly -0.6%, having been expected to go up by 0.3%. Yet to come on this week's agenda are the services and construction sector PMIs, the balance of trade and the important employment numbers on Friday. On Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia announced its decision on monetary policy, and the expected no change at 4.75% was what transpired. There are just three important UK data sets on the list: the services sector PMI, industrial and manufacturing production and the producer price index. There is also a vanishingly remote chance that the MPC might decide on Thursday to fall in with Mr Posen and increase the size of the asset purchase programme. The AUD is close to record highs against the US dollar and the pound. However tempting it might be to look for a reversal, history teaches that unjustifiable currency strength is not of itself reason for a turnaround. Almost every currency move goes too far. The problem is that it is impossible to tell until afterwards what constitutes "too far". Buyers of the Australian dollar should continue to hedge their risk, and consider fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  10. Hi all, I lodged my skilled visa 175 online in May 2009. Not even allocated a CO or anything yet! In the meantime I have met someone, got engaged in January 2011 and we're getting married in July 2011. I'm also in a new job since I lodged my application! Alot changes in 2 years! Don't even know where to begin in adding my fiance to my application, or updating all the details. And because I did my application online, how am I supposed to add to/change it? I think it is ridiculous that it has taken over 2 years and I've heard nothing! My fiance hasn't even been to Oz before so I've no idea if we'll actually even take the plunge, but after all the effort I've been to applying for this visa, it would be a shame to just write it off! Please can anyone advise me as to what I'm supposed to do to to update my application. Even though I did the online app myself 2 years ago, I'm tempted now to seek help from an agency because I just don't understand how to change my app now! Help please! Ruthie :confused:
  11. Hi all Every 2 weeks (sometime 3) registered migration agents hwo are also members of the MIA receive an update on the progress of medicals at the HOC. I have put below the latest one I have received and am happy to post each time I receive this if thats okay with the moderators? 'Below is the Health Operations Centre weekly update for the week beginning Monday 29 September 2008. We are currently processing medicals completed OFF-SHORE: 1. Urgent cases (457 visas) not requiring MOC's assessment received on 24th September 2008. 2. Temporary cases not requiring MOC's assessment received on 12th September 2008. 3. Permanent cases not requiring MOC's assessment received on 10th September 2008. 4. Urgent cases (e-visas, adoptions, 457 visas) requiring assessment by a Medical Officer received on 26th September 2008. 5. Other cases requiring medical assessment by a Medical Officer received on 17th September 2008. The case officer processing your visa application should be your first point of contact regarding any inquiry in relation to the application, including your health assessment results. If directing an enquiry to HOC, please note that if you are not the authorised contact declared on the visa application forms, then the HOC cannot release any information to you.' Hope this helps everyone who is waiting on medical results. As per the immi one for visa status it may not be entirely accurate but so far i have found it to be roughly right. :cute:
  12. AT LEAST ONE MPC MEMBER STILL WANTS HIGHER RATES But is he alone? This week's MPC minutes will tell. RBA still looking at higher interest rates after all. With higher lows and lower highs than the previous week, the pound covered a range of less than three cents. It opened in London yesterday morning a little more than half a cent down on the week. The UK economic data were not disastrous to the pound, but they did it no favours. Figures for the consumer price index showed prices rising by 4.5% in the year to May, just as analysts had forecast. The number was unchanged from a month earlier, way off the 2% inflation target but not high enough to provoke a change of policy by the Monetary Policy Committee. The employment figures revealed a quarterly increase of 80k jobs and an 88k fall in the number of unemployed. However, at the same time, the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance went up by three times as many as expected and earnings growth slowed to an annual 1.8%. Average earnings are rising at less than half the speed they are being eroded by inflation. That will have been one of the reasons why retail sales fell by -1.4% in May after their royal wedding and bank holiday increase of 1.2% the previous month. According to the RICS, house prices are falling more quickly. Its house price balance dropped from -21 to -28 in May. Estate agents' website, Rightmove told a wildly different but totally irrelevant story on Sunday night: asking prices rose by 0.6% between May and June and are up by 8.1% since the beginning of the year. Even Rightmove itself accepts that would-be sellers are being unrealistic in asking an average of 47% more for their properties than the average sale prices reported by Nationwide and Halifax; it described the situation as a "romp away from reality" and predicted a 7% fall between now and Christmas. On the oratorical front the pound received an early boost from MPC member Martin Weale's speech entitled ‘Why the Bank Rate should increase now’. Investors who might have worried about his commitment to higher rates following the departure from the committee of arch-hawk Andrew Sentance were left in no doubt of his resolve. They were less convinced though by the performances of the Chancellor and the Bank of England Governor at the Lord Mayor's banquet. The Chancellor unveiled an apparently self-contradictory plan to increase the proportion of capital held by banks against their loans, at the same time urging them to lend more. The Governor intended to "stick to the course, adjusting the tiller in response to changing conditions" and was "confident that we shall return to both price and financial stability”. Australian ecostats included falls in NAB's index of business conditions, from 5 to 1, and in its business confidence index, which eased from 7 to 6. Westpac's index of consumer confidence was lower as well, doubling in negativity from -1.3% to -2.6%. Housing starts rose by 3.1% in the first quarter, partially reversing the -4.0% decline in the previous three months. Investors were pleased to hear from the Reserve Bank of Australia governor, Glenn Stevens, that the RBA's statement after the June policy meeting had omitted an important point. Contrary to what the market had (reasonably) inferred from that statement, the Bank still has a bias towards tighter monetary policy and higher interest rates. Working against the Aussie, however, was the looming storm in Euroland, where the EU seems paralysed by inaction in its effort to find a lasting solution to the Greek government debt crisis. Although Brussels has a track record of last-minute solutions to apparently insoluble problems, it really seems to be taking this particular one right down to the wire. Investors worry that if it fails to get things back on track, there will be no alternative to a sovereign default by Greece. (In the long run there may still be no alternative to an eventual default, but sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, as the good book says.) A Greek default could precipitate all sorts of new crises, including busted banks and the ‘contagion’ that might send Portugal, Ireland, Spain, or all of the above down the same path to perdition. It could mean a second recession; it would almost certainly mean a second financial crisis. That is the bleak outlook that worries investors and which has made them less eager to hold the commodity currencies that rely on untrammelled global growth for their progress. Couple that with the possibility that the Chinese economy is overheating and could be heading for a setback anyway, and the AUD's outlook begins to look less sunny. The coming week's data from New Zealand are no more prolific than last week's with just the Westpac and the Conference Board's leading indices and the minutes of the June RBA policy meeting. With Euroland and Greece still at centre stage, it could again be the global growth outlook that turns out to be the main driver of the Aussie. A relatively quiet week for UK data covers public sector borrowing, the CBI's manufacturing orders and retail sales figures and mortgage approvals by members of the British Bankers' Association. The minutes of June's MPC meeting come out on Wednesday. Two votes for a rate increase (m/s Weale and Dale) would be neutral for sterling; more or less would be good or bad for the pound.
  13. UK ECONOMY GROWS BY 0.4% IN THREE MONTHS TO MAY Inflation pressures moderate. Aussie scuppered by interest rates and employment. At the beginning of last week the pound retreated by another cent to allow the Aussie another record (post-flotation) high. A three-and-a-half-cent rebound took sterling to the week's high on Thursday morning before it fell back by two and a half cents before Friday lunchtime. When London opened yesterday morning the pound was a net and hard-earned one cent higher on the week. Another drought-ridden crop of UK economic statistics began with the British Retail Consortium reporting lower sales in May, after April's bank holiday boost. It ended with the revelation that UK industrial production had fallen by -1.2% in the year to April and by -1.2% in the month itself. It was not all bad news though. Halifax reported a tiny 0.1% monthly increase for its house price index in June and offered a vaguely optimistic outlook: "Overall, we expect a moderate improvement in the economy during the remainder of 2011, which, combined with continuing low interest rates, is likely to support housing demand. This should prevent a further marked fall in prices and help to stabilise property values later in the year." The scale of the moderation in that economic improvement was made clear by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, with its estimate on Friday that the UK economy expanded by 0.4% in the three months to May. The trade figures were alright though, in a British sort of way. April's deficit was down to -£4.4 billion from March's -£4.5 billion. The producer price index showed a relaxation of the squeeze on manufacturers; the speed of their cost increases slowed from an annual 17.9% to 15.7%, while factory gate prices eased only slightly from 5.5% to 5.3%. For the month of May, factory gate output prices were up by 0.2%; input prices (costs) fell by -1.2%. Thursday's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting was every bit the non-event it had been cracked up to be. Nothing changed and nobody said anything. Not until 22 June will investors discover from the minutes of the meeting who voted for what. The best guess is that the departure of Andrew Sentance from the Committee will have changed the voting pattern from 9-3 in favour of no change to 7-2. The two big-ticket events for the Australian dollar were the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy decision and statement, and the monthly employment numbers for May. Neither failed to match up to its billing, but delivered unexpected disappointments. Analysts had been confident that if the RBA did not deliver an interest rate increase this month it would set the scene for a move in July from 4.75% to 5%. The RBA shattered that belief with Tuesday's statement. Not only did the cash rate stick at 4.75%, the wording of the statement indicated that an increase is far from imminent: "As the temporary price shocks dissipate over the coming quarters, CPI inflation will be close to target over the next 12 months. The Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate." Try as they might, investors could find not even the most tenuous hint that the RBA is minded to take interest rates higher under current circumstances. The Aussie dropped more than half a cent against the US dollar and twice that much against the pound. The next brick was Thursday's employment data. Although the 4.9% rate of unemployment was fair enough, the change in employment figure underwhelmed. At +7.8k it was just a third of what investors had been looking for. Taking into account revisions to previous figures, in April and May together Australia suffered a net loss of more than 20k jobs. It was not what the doctor ordered and it sent the Aussie lower again. A bank holiday week in Australia will bring subjective assessments of business conditions and confidence, consumer confidence and consumer inflation expectations. The hard data are restricted to housing starts and new vehicle sales. The two important UK statistics will be for consumer price index inflation and employment. The former loses most of its theoretical clout because everyone is aware that the MPC will keep interest rates as low as it can for as long as it can. The latter is critical to the economy and the currency; without jobs growth there can be no spending growth and no economic growth. Making up the numbers will be the RICS house price balance, consumer confidence (Nationwide's version) and retail sales. Sterling is off the bottom against the Aussie - again - but is not yet going up. Buyers of the Australian dollar would be wise to continue to hedge their risk, fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  14. VERY LITTLE GOOD NEWS FOR THE POUND Almost every UK statistic disappoints Better-than-expected Australian GDP figure provokes relief rally. A two-and-a-half-cent range separated Tuesday's sterling peak from Wednesday's trough and Friday's low. Although sterling was on the defensive, investors seemed reluctant to pull the trigger. The pound opened in London this morning a little more than a cent and a half lower on the shortened week. With one exception the week's UK economic statistics were lower on the month, lower than forecast, or both. Mercifully, it was a short list. Mortgage approvals in April numbered 45.2k, the lowest number for that month since records began in 1993. Purchasing managers' indices for the manufacturing and services sectors were down on the month, down on forecast, at 52.1 and 53.8, respectively. The sole glimmer of light came from May's construction sector PMI. At 54.0 it beat the 53.3 recorded in April and just managed to pip the 53.8 predicted by analysts. And that was it really. Sterling did not have much to say for itself and investors were unimpressed with the few things they did get to hear. One research firm, Markit, summarised the week's figures as reducing the upward pressure on inflation and pointing to growth of no more than 0.3% in the second quarter of the year. On both counts they militated against any early interest rate increase from the Monetary Policy Committee. The Aussie dollar had plenty to say. Though none of them looked amazingly good, the Australian data were seen as the temporary result of flooding at the end of last year. Among the weather-affected figures were the -2.0% fall in Q1 corporate profits, hard on the heels of a -2.8% fall in Q4 2010, and a widening of the current account deficit to -$10.4 billion. Building permit issuance fell by -1.3% in April and by -11.5% in the 12-month period. The figure reflects weakness in the sector as a whole, but probably understates activity because some authorities have waived the need for permits in order to allow people to rebuild their properties without being hampered by red tape. Paradoxically, the Aussie's great leap forward came after figures showing the economy contracted by -1.2% in the first quarter, especially as the number was worse than the -1.0 % shrinkage that analysts had predicted. Investors had been geared up for a bad number; when they saw annual growth of 1.0%, despite the Q1 drop they bought the Aussie in a relief rally. Until Tuesday the Australian dollar was looking good, held high by expectations that the Reserve Bank Of Australia was about to raise its benchmark cash rate from 4.75% to 5%. The thinking was that if the increase did not come with Tuesday's board meeting it would happen next month. The RBA shattered that belief with its statement from the governor. Not only did the cash rate stick at 4.75%, the wording of the statement indicated that an increase is not imminent. The Aussie dropped more than half a cent against the US Dollar and twice that much against the pound. There are some middle-weight figures from the UK including the trade balance, producer prices and manufacturing and industrial production. Thursday's interest rate decision from the MPC will be significant only in the unlikely event that it delivers other than a "no change" verdict. Otherwise it will be the minutes of the meeting in a couple of weeks' time that are more important. Sterling is off the bottom against the Aussie but is not exactly going up. Buyers of the Australian dollar should continue to hedge their risk, and consider fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  15. christopher

    A little update from Yorkshire

    Well, we've been back two weeks tomorrow and it's great to be back! we've bought a beautiful 1850's Victorian House, bought a car and Ive had loads of offers of Freelance work, I've done a few days work already. Its really great to feel like 'me' again and I hadn't realised just how much I missed and loved the landscape of Yorkshire, it really is quite stunning. Ive noticed some of the effects of the recession, pubs and shops now closed etc but overall everyone seems really happy and its great to be surrounded by British humour again. Also apart from petrol, everything seems really cheep, I'm not one for pre packed meals but the dine in for 2 things for a tenner at M&S are just fantastic and just walking around Tescos is great to see all the choice and at decent prices. Having my first decent curry for a long while was just superb and a nice pint of real ale in a decent pub surrounded by friends is just heaven! The weather has been a bit iffi but if I'm honest Ive been loving the cooler climate and drizzle rather than tropical rain of Sydney. All in all its great to finally feel at home as for two years Ive woken up thinking something is not quite right, but that feeling went as soon as we drove from the airport over the pennines into Yorkshire :-)
  16. UK GROWTH CONFIRMED AT 0.5% IN FIRST QUARTER But UK business investment and household spending are down More signs of weakness in the Australian economic data Sterling started the week badly but recovered on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding a cent and a half. It spent the remainder of the week drifting sideways. When London opened this morning it was sitting on a net gain of just over a cent on the eight-day week. Sterling's rough start to the week came with the help of a worse-than-expected monthly figure for public sector net borrowing. Net borrowing in April was £7.7 billion, not far off double the £4.4 billion pencilled in by investors and a record for that month. Reasonably, the thought was that if the government is trying to rein in the deficit it is not making a particularly good fist of it. Tuesday's revised figures for first-quarter gross domestic product were not much to write home about either. They showed household spending down by -0.6% on the quarter and by -0.3% over the 12 months to end-March. The equivalent numbers for business investment were -7.1% and -3.2%. Here, too, investors were perplexed: if neither businesses nor households are spending money, what will drive the recovery? The market did not punish the pound for the GDP data though, largely because the figure of 0.5% for GDP growth in Q1 was unaltered after the revision. Inevitably, many investors would have been suspicious of a downgrade. There was a relief rally when it failed to materialise. The week's only two other UK statistics were unexceptional. Gfk's index of consumer confidence "improved" from a fairly miserable -31 to a slightly less downbeat -21. Nationwide's house price index rose by 0.3% in May to leave it -1.2% lower on the year. The main contributor to sterling's weakness at the beginning of last week was a warning from Moody's that it was considering a downgrade to the credit ratings of 14 British banks and building societies. Having given due consideration to the matter, investors decided it was nothing to worry about. Moody's sole reason for the reassessment is that UK banks are currently underwritten by a government guarantee. When the institutions are once again judged sound enough to stand on their own two feet that guarantee will be withdrawn. Without a government guarantee they will be intrinsically more risky. Investors were not uncomfortable with that logic and did not see it as a reason to lay into the pound. The Australian economic data continue to look flaky. Of the figures released over the last week only one, private-sector capital expenditure, was above than the previous quarter and higher than expected. The Conference Board's leading economic index slowed from 0.6% to 0.4%. An equivalent measure from Westpac was flat at 0.5%. Corporate gross operating profits declined by -2.0% in Q1. Lending to the private sector was flat in April. Significantly, the residential property sector is showing signs of struggling to maintain the high prices to which everyone has become accustomed. Figures today from Data Rismark show that although the price of cheaper property has crept higher, the luxury end of the market is under pressure. In Melbourne the top suburbs suffered an average price fall of -3.5% in the year to April. Nationally the decline was -5.4%. Whilst Sydney, as a whole, saw prices rise by 0.5%, Perth is down by 7.1% on the year. Building permits fell by -1.3% in April. The news coincided with a report that "Two thirds of 20- to 45-year-olds have given up on home ownership" because of unaffordable prices. Investors' take on the property situation was that it would dissuade the Reserve Bank of Australia from being in a hurry to raise interest rates, especially in view of the proposed carbon tax that would cost the private sector around A$11.5 billion in its first year of operation. There could be more bad news to come this week. The AiG performance of manufacturing index is expected to remain below the 50.0 boom/bust divide and Australia's GDP is forecast to have shrunk by -0.3% in Q1. UK statistics will be in short supply; just mortgage approvals and the PMIs. Whilst it is becoming increasingly tempting to look for a reversal of the Aussie's two-and-a-half-year rally it is still too soon to call a reversal.
  17. armandra

    ACS Online Status Page Updated

    Breaking news: ACS has updated the status page. It's nice! Till yesterday, this picture used to be displayed (not being correlated to the app's current status): As of today, this is what we see: Is this same for everyone whose status is "In Process"? armandra!
  18. STERLING FAILS TO IMPRESS Investors focus on the weak aspects of UK inflation and employment data More unimpressive data from the Australian economy. A two-and-a-half-cent range saw sterling hold steady-ish on Monday and Tuesday before swinging down on Wednesday and back up on Friday. When London opened this morning the pound was an insignificant 30 ticks up on the week. A busy week for sterling contained a rough balance of good news and bad news, although investors could not always agree which was which. Tuesday's consumer price index (CPI) data showed inflation jumping back up to 4.5% in April after March's temporary setback. What might have been a positive event for the pound, with its implication of higher interest rates, turned out to be the dampest of squibs. One reason was the underlying assumption that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has not the remotest intention of increasing interest rates until it absolutely has to. The other was the quarterly exchange of letters between the governor and the chancellor that appeared to rubber-stamp that approach. The chancellor's response was to "welcome the MPC's continued commitment to respond flexibly to the economic outlook". Wednesday's employment report was seen almost universally as a negative for sterling. Although more people were in work and the rate of unemployment went down again, investors chose to focus on the increase in the number of dole-claimants. It will not have helped that, at a time when the government is supposed to be cutting expenditure, not only were basic public sector wages 11.6% higher than in the private sector, they were also rising more quickly; by 2.5% in the year to March compared with the 1.9% average increase across the private sector. Even April's strong 21.1% monthly and 2.8% annual increase in retail sales failed to impress investors. They put it down to three bank holidays and a royal wedding; events that will not be recurrent. On the positive side, the Bank of England's chief economist, Spencer Dale, turned out not to be as flaky on tighter monetary policy as the market had feared. He is one of the three MPC members who have been voting regularly for higher interest rates. There had been a suspicion with that the flagging economy and the departure of Andrew Sentance, the hawks' ringleader, Mr Dale might step back from his call for a rate increase. He scotched that impression in an interview with the Financial Times. Whilst he is "not at all confident that the recovery has taken hold", he is "even more worried about what’s going on in terms of inflation". It was another week of mediocrity for the Australian economic data. All were weaker than the previous month, weaker than forecast or both. New motor vehicle sales fell by -3.5% in April and were -8.4% down on the same month last year. Home loans fell by -1.5% in March and the decline for February was revised from -4.0% to -4.7%. Consumer confidence reversed from +1.2% to -1.3%. Wages went up by 0.8% in the first quarter of the year, having been forecast to rise by 1.1%. None of that mattered too much in the early part of the week when investors had a spring in their step and an appetite for commodity-oriented currencies with high interest rates. But that attitude went for a ball of chalk on Friday when ratings agency Fitch downgraded Greek government debt and said that the rescue proposed by the EU and the IMF would amount to a default, whatever fancy name they gave it. A lot of investors suddenly became very nervous and lightened their holdings of risky assets, including the Aussie dollar. The coming week's Australian figures are the leading economic indicators, construction work, consumer inflation expectations and private capital spending. None of these will be as important as the outcome – if there is one – of the Greek government debt fiasco. Of the few UK data coming out the most important will be Tuesday's public sector net borrowing figure and Wednesday's first revision to first quarter GDP. Best guess at the moment is that it will reaffirm the 0.5% growth shown in the original estimate. Anything lower would be likely to hurt the pound. It is possible that investors are lining up for a change of heart on the global economy and the commodity currencies but it is too early to call a reversal of the Aussie's two-month rally.
  19. Hi everyone, My husband and I are trying to find the best way of contacting DIAC to get an update on our visa application. The short story is: We are using a visa agency who, unfortunately haven't been very professional or reliable, and we just want to check with DIAC that the agency has sent all our docs/paperwork that they SAY they have! (We chose this agency as we HAD previously used them for holiday visas, and they had been fine) We got our State Spons to WA in 2010, had a case officer allocated in Feb 2011, did medicals and UK police certs in March 2011 and sent all this off to the agent. Because we had to get police certs from South Africa as well, these took a bit longer and only arrived on 15 April 2011. I duly scanned and sent off the final certs to our agent on the same day. So....DIAC now have everything they need (as far as we know) but we have yet to hear anything regarding the visa!! Assuming our final paperwork was sent to DIAC on 15/04 or possibly 18/04 (a Monday) it has now been over a month that we've been waiting. I know some people have had to wait about 10 weeks, but from what I've read in these forums, that is quite unusual. Am I being unrealistic - moaning about waiting for a month, or should we have heard by now?:confused: We have the TRN number for our application, but don't know whether to ring up DIAC or email them to basically "check up" on our visa agent!! We don't want to rub anyone up the wrong way and get pushed to the bottom of the pile either. Another thing our agent told , is DIAC does not update their online document checklist. Is that correct? Because every time we've looked at the online progress of an application, nothing has been updated, except the dates that our medicals were finalised. It's still showing that our birth certificates, passport copies, evidence of qualifications etc etc is still outstanding. Any advice will be most appreciated. Thanks for reading all of this - it feels like I've typed a novel. :cute: Catherine


    Well we have been in Sydney now for just over 12 months on a 457 and we love Australia, its been the best thing we ever did. We were lucky found an house to rent we liked 2 weeks after arriving not too far from shops and school for Ross. Barry has been working, we are on a 457, I have set up my old UK business and its taking off now really well. We have bought a plot f land to build our own house so all going well. Slight problem! Barry has just been offered a great new job in Brisbane to start next month so it looks like we are packing boxes and moving to Brisbane for step 2 of our Aussie adventure. Looking at North Lakes, Redcliffe areas so may see some of you in Brisbane area soon!!
  21. HIGHER INFLATION FORECAST BOOSTS STERLING Disappointing production data hold it back Unexpected Australian job losses deflate the dollar Sterling's four-cent range was narrower than the previous week and slightly lower, including a record low for the pound. It did not stay down though. When London opened the pound was two and a half cents off its low and a net half cent ahead on the week. Sterling's mid-week rally happened courtesy of the Bank of England governor. Since the onset of the recession, Mervyn King has not been renowned for his robust promotion of sterling. It would be an exaggeration to say he has seized every opportunity to send it lower, but his pontifications have tended to offer more reasons to sell than to buy the pound. It was something of a surprise, then, when he hinted that sterling interest rates would indeed go up this year. His comments were in the context of the Bank's Quarterly Inflation Report. Although, as expected, the report marked down projections for economic growth, at the same time it marked higher the outlook for inflation. The inflation report was the highlight of what was otherwise a week of dreary economic data from the UK. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors house price balance improved from -23% to -21%, showing that prices are still falling, just not so quickly as before. Rightmove's whimsical house price index found would-be sellers asking an average of £239k for their palaces - a three-year high and 50% more than the £160k average transaction price reported by HBOS a week ago. Rightmove's press release suggests the mismatch could continue as long as interest rates remain near-zero: ‘One interest rate rise won't immediately derail the market but if we see several in quick succession it will quickly hit the buffers.’ Although positive, the figures for UK manufacturing and industrial production in March were all on the low side of expectations. In February and March together, manufacturing production was up by just 0.2% and industrial production fell by -0.9%. Having already seen the provisional figure for first quarter gross domestic product (it grew by 0.5%), the production figures did not come as a shock. Indeed, they were not miles away from forecast. But they were not good and they held sterling back. The Australian ecostats were not very impressive either. NAB's business confidence and business conditions measures were both lower in April, confidence by two points at 7 and conditions by four points at 5. Among other things, business conditions were drenched by cyclone Yasi and confidence was dented by the strength of the Aussie dollar. An improvement in Australia's trade surplus was welcome enough, but the employment figures created all sorts of nuisance for the dollar. In March the Australian economy had added 38,000 jobs. Analysts were forecasting a further 17,000 to have been created in April and investors went for it. They were wrong. Employment was down by -22,100 and 30 seconds later the Aussie dollar was down by a cent and a half. In common with other high-yielding and commodity-oriented currencies, the Australian dollar suffered at the end of the week as investors fretted about the slow-motion crash of the Greek government bond market. They reduced their holdings of risky assets and stocked up with US dollars and yen because that was just about their only option if they did not like the euro. This week's Australian data cover vehicle sales, investment and mortgage lending, consumer confidence and wage levels. The Reserve Bank of Australia publishes the minutes of the last monetary policy meeting. Four items on sterling's agenda are loaded with implication for sterling interest rates, and so for the currency itself. Analysts believe UK inflation will have gone up from 4.0% to 4.1% in April and that unemployment will have risen from 7.8% to 7.9%. Retail sales in April should be 2.5% up on the same month last year. The minutes of the May Monetary Policy Committee will reveal whether three of the nine members were still voting for a rate increase or if there has been some backpedalling as a result of softer economic data. Sterling has picked itself up from an even lower bottom week, but this time seems to have held onto the bulk of its gains.
  22. Still no change for sterling interest rates Pace of UK economic growth slows in April RBA hints at an early interest rate increase A down-up-down move covering five and a half cents left sterling lower by an insignificant one third of a cent on the week when London opened this morning. Not a single eyebrow was raised when the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced on Thursday that its bank rate would remain at 0.5% for a 27th month. During that time it has become increasingly irrelevant to the real cost of consumer credit and the average rate on credit cards has risen to 19.1%. A one-off increase in the bank rate to 0.75% would indeed be a futile gesture, as the governor has earlier said. Whether or not credit card lenders would pass on the increase, taking the average rate up to 19.35%, is of little or no consequence when the cost is already so eye-wateringly high. The effect would be more noticeable on mortgages but the MPC will be conscious that 150,000 customers of Lloyds banking group are already in a position of negative equity; for the country as a whole the number is said to be nearly two million. The MPC evidently believes that making its monthly payments higher would have no conceivable benefit to the UK economy. It was not the continuing low interest that most weighed on sterling though. The downward pressure came mainly from a series of weak and disappointing economic statistics. Purchasing managers' indices for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors were all lower by a couple of points in April, averaging 54.1. Although they were all above 50, and thus still positive, the pace of growth has slipped. Nationwide and HBOS both reported lower house prices in April compared with a year earlier. For Nationwide the fall was -1.3%, while HBOS put it at -3.7%. (The average sale went through at £163k - a long way below the £236k average asking price reported by Rightmove for the same month.) The only positive ecostats were those for producer prices. Manufacturers' costs were up by an annual 17.6% and factory gate prices rose by 5.3%. Both numbers are a worry on the inflation front and the gap between them must be a concern for manufacturers themselves. Normally such high numbers would have an upward effect on the pound because they theoretically point to higher interest rates, but that did not happen on this occasion because nobody believes there will be any reaction to the figures from the MPC. The Australian Industry Group's performance of services index and performance of construction index are akin to Britain's purchasing managers' indices, measuring activity in those sectors. Last week they told a mixed story. Services firms appeared to be pushing ahead, with the index up by five points and in the growth zone at 51.5. Construction is flagging though. The index was down by another point and a half at 37.9. Building approvals performed strongly in March, up by 9.1% on the month, but were still -18.1% down on the same month last year. The main impact on the Aussie dollar came from the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy statement, following its decision to leave interest rates unchanged earlier in the week. Analysts interpreted the wording of the statement as pointing to an increase next month. Certainly at the time of its release the market grasped onto the higher forecast for inflation and the comment that interest rates would have to go up "at some point". This week's Australian ecostats are restricted to business confidence, the balance of trade and employment. Of the three, it is the change in employment that is most likely to make waves. Analysts forecast that the Australian economy will have added 17k jobs in April after an increase of 38k in March. The UK data are quite thin on the ground too, with nothing beyond retail sales, the balance of trade and industrial and manufacturing production. The most important event ought to be the Bank of England's Quarterly Inflation Report. However, in his speech of introduction to the report, the governor is likely to stick to his line that inflation will fall back next year, thus divorcing the QIR from monetary policy.
  23. Guest

    Co update yipee!!!

  24. Applications for Retail Pharmacist are now closed 6 May 2011 Skilled Migration Western Australia (SMWA) has conducted its monthly review of the Western Australia Skilled Migration Occupation List. SMWA will not be accepting any new applications with the following occupation: Retail Pharmacist (ANZSCO – 251513) *Please note that SMWA reviews the availability of occupations on a monthly basis. If an occupation becomes available this will take place on the first working day of each month, at which time you will be able to apply for sponsorship.
  25. Guest

    update IELTS score

    Hello everyone, Could I update my IELTS score after lodgement my application for visa subclass 176, for seeking higher points?