Autumn 2024

After a summer of quite extreme weather in many places around Australia, we can hopefully look forward to the cooler, calmer weather that Autumn brings.

While economic bright spots can be found in Australia right now, there are also some less than stellar results.

On the positive, inflation has remained at a two-year low giving some commentators confidence of a rate cut in the coming months. CPI was steady at 3.4% in the 12 months to January.

In other good news, business capital investment rose in the December quarter to be 7.9% higher than it was 12 months before and average weekly earnings rose by 4.5% or $81 per week.

It has been a mixed report for retail, with a 1.1% increase in sales for January but that wasn’t enough to make up for the 2.1% loss in December.

The Australian dollar remains in the doldrums, weakening below 65.2 US cents after reaching a high of 69.48 near the end of 2023.

Australian shares were up by just over 1% for the month after a shaky start thanks to worries over US interest rates and China.

US stocks edged higher during February with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching record highs during the month.

February was dominated by news of the massive profit report by artificial intelligence chipmaker Nvidia, which had a massive effect on markets across the world.