Winter 2024

With Winter now officially underway, some might be heading north to warm up and others may lean into the cold on the snowfields.

Whichever you choose, don’t forget the approaching end of financial year.

There was a slight increase in the Consumer Price Index last month, to 3.6% from 3.5% in March.

This has led some economists to predict we’ll be waiting longer for the first official interest rate cuts, perhaps until the end of next year, with little to no chance of a rate rise in the meantime.

While inflation has been relatively stable over the past five months, this is the second monthly increase in a row.

The biggest price increases were in the housing, food and beverages, alcohol and tobacco, and transport sectors.

Retail spending continues to be weak. The 0.1% increase in turnover in April wasn’t enough to make up for a 0.4% drop in March.

The higher-than-expected inflation figures saw Australian share prices take a tumble after reaching a welcome high mid-month.

The ASX200 finished the month on a positive note, slightly higher for the month of May.

In the US, troubles in the tech sector and a global bond sell-off saw small losses on the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 while European markets in London, France and Germany also finished the month on a low.

A strong US dollar along with the uptick in Australia’s inflation data saw the Aussie dollar fall from a mid-month peak of just over US67 cents.