Scott Morrison has dismissed suggestions the Australian economy faces the risk of a recession at a time when figures this week could see the unemployment rate fall below four per cent.

Recent volatility in global financial markets has been sparked by fears the US Federal Reserve will overshoot on lifting interest rates to combat heated inflation pressures in the US.

The Reserve Bank has already started lifting the cash rate in the face of the highest rate of inflation in Australian in more than 20 years and with little sign of pressures receding with petrol prices on the rise again.

On the election campaign trail in the southern Queensland seat of Blair, the prime minister was asked whether he could guarantee the Australian economy won’t fall into a recession. 

“Rising interest rates and rising inflation, as we all know, is the product of what we’re seeing with a global set of forces on Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

“Unemployment is at four per cent and falling. That is not the sign of a weakening economy. That’s the sign of a strengthening economy.”

April jobs figures will be released on Thursday, days out from polling day on Saturday.

Economists expect the unemployment rate to have eased to 3.9 per cent in April from four per cent in March, the lowest level since in 1974, as 30,000 people joined the workforce.

However, Wednesday’s crucial wages figures will confirm that despite all the government’s chest beating about a strong economy, voters’ pay is growing at about half the rate of inflation.

The wage price index – data used by the RBA and Treasury to assess wages growth – is forecast by economists to have grown at a slightly more upbeat 0.8 per cent in the March quarter.

However, this would still leave the annual rate at 2.5 per cent.

While the highest rate since 2014, it would be substantially below the annual rate of inflation at 5.1 per cent as of the March quarter.

“We want to see the unemployment rate come down as low as possible, but …. the defining challenge in the jobs market is real wages going backwards,” shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Brisbane.

“The government always wants to pat themselves on the back for the unemployment rate as a desperate distraction from all of the other economic challenges that we have.”

Rising fuel costs have been a key factor behind the sharp increase in inflation.

Petrol prices are rising again despite the government’s efforts to curb their advance by temporarily halving fuel excise to 22 cents a litre in the March budget in response to bowser prices surging to a record above $2 a litre.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum’s weekly report on Monday showed the national average for petrol prices rose by a further 5.4 cents to 185 cent per litre.

It was the fourth weekly increase in a row after dropping to an average of 166.3 cents per litre in mid-April following the fuel excise reduction.

“Today, some retailers are charging near $2.20 a litre,” Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James said.

“Certainly the weaker Aussie dollar is not doing motorists any favours, pushing up the local cost of imported fuel.”

Global oil prices remain stubbornly high at over $US100 a barrel against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.