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Latest inflation figures & the election campaign

Michael McLaren

Judith Sloan, Contributing Economics Editor with ‘The Australian’, joins Michael to take a look at the latest inflation figures and their effect on the election campaign.

Mr Sloan writes, ‘The release of the latest inflation figures has put a cat among the pigeons when it comes to the election campaign.’

‘An annual consumer price index increase of more than 5 per cent translates to an inevitable rise in interest rates; the issues are timing and magnitude.’

‘The figures also showed the prices of non-discretionary items – food, housing, healthcare, utility bills – had risen faster than discretionary ones.  Voters didn’t need to wait for the government’s statistical agency to tell them prices were rising uncomfortably fast. Trips to the supermarket and petrol station have been telling them this for some time.’

‘The prospect of rising interest rates no doubt is prompting anxiety among many households, particularly those with large mortgages and those who recently purchased (potentially overpriced) homes.’

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