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SYDNEY, Jan 18 AAP

January 18 2013, 1:49PM

A review of Australian economic data for the week Sunday January 13 to Saturday January 19, 2013.

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AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS (ABS) HOUSING FINANCE

The number of home loans approved in November fell 0.5 per cent to 46,199, from a downwardly revised 46,448 in October.

Total housing finance by value fell 0.8 per cent in November, seasonally adjusted, to $21.464 billion.

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TD SECURITIES-MELBOURNE INSTITUTE INFLATION GAUGE

The gauge rose 0.4 per cent in December and was up 2.4 per cent in the year to December.

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ANZ JOB ADVERTISEMENTS

The total number of job ads placed in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet fell 3.8 per cent in December.

It was the 10th straight monthly decline, with job advertisements at their lowest levels for three years.

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ABS LENDING FINANCE

Personal finance loans rose by 1.0 per cent to $7.448 billion in November, from an upwardly revised $7.378 billion in October.

Total commercial loans fell 7.2 per cent in November to $29.427 billion, seasonally-adjusted, from $31.717 billion in October.

Lease finance was up 1.5 per cent to $551 million, compared with $542 million the previous month.

Housing finance for owner occupiers rose 0.6 per cent to $13.940 billion, from $13.861 billion the month before.

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ABS NEW MOTOR VEHICLE SALES

Sales of new motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted, rose 2.2 per cent to 98,264 in December, from an upwardly revised 96,159 in November.

In the year to December, new motor vehicle sales rose 17.9 per cent to 98,264, seasonally adjusted, from 83,367.

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WESTPAC-MELBOURNE INSTITUTE SURVEY OF CONSUMER SENTIMENT

The consumer sentiment index rose 0.6 points to 100.6 points in January, putting it in positive territory, but still below in long-term average of 101.5.

A reading above 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists among respondents.

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ABS LABOUR FORCE

The unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in December from 5.3 per cent in November.

Total employment fell 5,500 to 11.539 million in the month, seasonally adjusted.

Full-time employment fell 13,800 to 8.112 million in December, while part-time employment rose 8,300 to 3.426 million.

The December participation rate was 65.1 per cent, unchanged from November.

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ABS INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE IMPORTS

Imports of goods fell eight per cent, or $1.651 billion, in December to $20.206 billion, seasonally adjusted.

Unadjusted, imports of goods fell 18 per cent, or $4.146 billion.

Intermediate and other merchandise goods fell $373 million - or four per cent.

Consumption goods were down $91 million (two per cent), and capital goods fell $1.197 billion (19 per cent), while non-monetary gold rose $11 million (3 per cent).

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AUSTRALIAN OFFICE OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT TENDER OF $1 BILLION OF TREASURY NOTES MATURING ON APRIL 12, 2013

The notes were sold for a weighted average yield of 2.9614 per cent, with a coverage ratio of 5.79.

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