Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Cost of living rises...

Cost of living rises a bit...

...but still beats the alternative, as the old saying goes.

The cost of living for employee households rose by a moderate 1.5 per cent over the year to March 2017.

This is still a very low rate of increase - and indeed is way under the long run average - but it is higher than the 1 per cent annual increase seen in the preceding quarter.

The ABS Cost of Living Indexes also showed how falling interest rates have been a key driver of rising dwelling prices over the past decade:

"Over the last 10 years, to March quarter 2017, mortgage interest charges have fallen -4.7 per cent. Dwelling prices have risen 76.2 per cent between December 2006 and December 2016."


This morning the International Trade figures for the month of March 2017 are to be released.

Following on from last month's huge and near-record $3.5 surplus, the market expects to see a slightly lower result at a surplus of around $3.3 billion.

Market forecasts are now blind, since the ABS no longer releases customs goods imports ahead of the trade data market release.

Market forecasts range from a solid surplus of $1.8 billion all the way up to a record monthly high of $4 billion.

Westpac is the most bullish forecaster, estimating that export earnings may have been previously understated.

Some imports were also pulled forward into January due to lunar New Year, which in part accounted for the very low result for imports last month (and in turn, the apparently massive surplus).