Philip Lowe RBA 2018 economic data housing prices unemployment income
RBA governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

If you're in the tiny minority of Australian who pay attention to what happened in Canberra this week, you'd think the most important matters facing the country was Operation Sovereign Strawberries and the Liberals' ongoing civil war, which has now reached the point of Liberal MPs being exfiltrated to New York to keep them out of harm's way. Fortunately there are adults elsewhere within the polity focused on actual challenges for Australia.

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank released its 2017-18 annual report and as always there's a brief foreword from the governor, Phillip Lowe. In the same document last year, Lowe noted inflation was “low”, “wage growth remains low” (wages were mentioned twice), there was “a reduced sense of job security”, and “over the year, the Board has paid close attention to developments in household balance sheets and housing markets". But the governor confidently predicted "the coming year is likely to see better growth in the Australian economy” which it did, with GDP growing at an annual rate of 3.4% at the end of 2017-18 against 1.9% in 2016-17.