For most of this year, the warnings and news about inflation have been one of hope for the best but experience the worst. Predictions of future inflation growth have continually been revised upwards and with it has been the suggestion that interest rates need to keep rising.
The latest economic outlook from the OECD highlights the precarious path for Australia over the next few years.
The latest wages price index figures show that for the first time since 2013 wages grew by more than 3% in the past year.
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine caused a massive surge in gas and LNG prices that have enabled gas companies around the world, including Australia to make record-level profits.
The current tightening of monetary policy is undoubtedly having an impact. While it may take some time for the slowing of inflation to flow through to the official CPI figures – especially given the level of inflation that is being imported – the economy is set to slow drastically.
In the past 7 months, the Reserve Bank has increased the cash rate by 275 basis points. That is as fast as any time since the RBA became independent. Given the pace of inflation growth, the rises are not wholly without cause, but as policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column the main drivers of inflation are now easing, and wages are yet to take off. In that case, should the RBA continue to raise rates given it will only slow the economy further?
On Wednesday the latest inflation figures showed that in the 12 months to September prices across Australia grew by 7.3% – the fastest rate since 1990.
The latest data from the Bureau of Statistics on families shows that more than ever before couples with dependants are both working.
This week the IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook. And the outlook is dire. Economic growth around the world was downgraded with recession-like conditions being predicted for many advanced economies including the USA, UK and much of the EU.
This week the UK government introduced massive high-income tax cuts – cuts that are not even as bad as the Stage 3 tax cuts here in Australia. And the reaction by the market was brutal. Investors saw the tax cuts for what they were – a redistribution of national income from the poorest to the wealthiest, that provided no economic growth. As a result the value of the UK Pound plunged.
Last week before the House Economics Committee, the Governor of the Reserve Bank made it clear that the current rise in inflation has nothing to do with wages growth. And yet he also made it clear he expects workers to bear the brunt of the cost that comes from slowing inflation.
Since the Reserve Bank began raising interest rates in May, the housing market has very much come off the boil.
The June quarter GDP figures released by the Bureau of Statistics showed that over the past year the economy grew a seemingly strong 3.6%.
The Stage 3 tax cuts, which will essentially create a flat income tax system, have always been clearly biased towards high-income earners. For those earning over $200,000, the tax cuts represent a 4.5% cut compared to just 0.6% for someone on the median income of $60,000. But this week, the Parliamentary Budget Office has released costings that detail just how skewed the allocation of money is to the richest in our society.
For most of the past 40 years whenever the discussion turns to the need to lift productivity, invariably the conversation is dominated by business groups and various media commentators who suggest the solution is more labour market flexibility. Just a bit more flexibility and productivity will improve!
The latest wages price index figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how far workers ability to purchase items with what they earn has fallen.
The 2019-20 taxation statistics released this week by the ATO provide a plethora of data that reveals with precision the salaries of people by location, occupation age and importantly, gender.
The latest raise in the cash rate has meant interest rates have increased by more in 4 months than they have anytime since 1994.
The latest inflation figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how much workers have been left behind. Writing in Guardian Australia, labour market and fiscal policy director Greg Jericho notes that while the focus is on the biggest annual increase in inflation since the introduction of the GST, the data also shows that real wages have fallen drastically.
Despite unemployment at nearly 50 years lows, it will be little surprise to workers that wages growth is only at 3 year highs. Over the past decade the relationship between wages growth and unemployment has shifted such that levels of unemployment that would have once seen wages growing at more than 4% are now associated with growth of well below 3%.
Right now, the big numbers of the economy look pretty good. Unemployment in June was just 3.5% – the lowest since 1974. So why has consumer confidence crashed and why are so many Australians worried about a recession?
The Fair Work Commission has announced an important increase in the national minimum wage, which will rise by $1.05 per hour (or 5.2%) effective 1 July 2022. This represents a significant shift in the debate over wages in Australia, whichi have been languishing for years — and are now falling in real terms.
The latest labour account survey released by the Bureau of Statistics revealed that while job growth remains solid and the job vacancy rate is at record levels, workers real incomes remains at best flat.
The March quarter GDP figures show that while the economy is growing strongly, workers are missing out of their fair share.
The release of the March Wage Price Index confirms what a horror year it has been for workers. While inflation in the past 12 months rose 5.1%, wages grew just 2.4%. Even worse, in the past year the price of non-discretionary items rose 6.6%, meaning for those on low wages, who spend more of their incomes on essential items, real wages would have fallen even more than the 2.6% average fall.
The current election campaign has seen the two major parties put forward housing policies, both of which to varying degrees are aimed at the demand side of the equation.
This week the election campaign has turned to discussion about the increase to the minimum wage, with suggestions that an increase either in line with the curent rate of inflation of 5.1% or marginally above it (such as the ACTU’s proposal of a 5.5% increase) would bring about a return to 1970s style wage sprials.
Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real
For most of the past decade the talk about housing affordability has focussed on house prices. As fiscal policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column, falling interest rates since November 2010 have made paying off a mortgage less onerous than it otherwise would have given the soaring house prices.
The March CPI figures showing that inflation rose 5.1% over the past 12 months is not just the highest level since the introduction of the GST it also signals the biggest fall in real wages since then as well.