Today at 11.30am the
Australian Bureau of Statistics released its estimate of consumer prices
for the September quarter. As a teaser, Barry Hughes earlier suggested for the
AFR: “Omens not good for the CPI”.

In fact, however, the outcome today
represents mild good news for the economy. “Headline” inflation was .9 % for the
quarter and “only” 3 % for the year – both measures slightly below the average
expectation. “Core” inflation – omitting petrol and food prices – was bang on
expectations at .6 % for the quarter and 2.0 % for the year. Fixed interest
markets rallied slightly.

US inflation has
surprised on the upside. Australia’s Producer Price Index
(PPI), published Monday, ditto. The Melbourne Institute-TD Securities monthly
measure of inflation includes a reading for September compared with a year ago
of 3.4%, above the Reserve Bank’s target range. Reports from Henry’s
on the state of the Australian economy include several comments about
the squeeze of rising prices – consumer prices for households, costs for

Read more on the Henry
Thornton website here.

Peter Fray

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