September is upon us and spring is in the air. Our farmers and firefighters will be hoping for some soaking rain to ease the drought and ward off bushfires. Meanwhile, AFL and NRL fans will be hoping the sun shines on their team this finals season.
Economic news was overshadowed by political instability in August, culminating in Scott Morrison being sworn in as Australia’s 6th Prime Minister in 11 years. Morrison is seen as a safe pair of hands economically, and consumer confidence rebounded after the vote. The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose 2.1 per cent, its biggest lift in 11 weeks.
Elsewhere the economic signs are mixed. As the latest profit reporting season ends, over 60 per cent of ASX 200 companies lifted profits in the year to June while 93 per cent paid a dividend. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 per cent in July, while wages growth lifted slightly to 2.1 per cent in the year to June. Offsetting this, national home values fell 1.6 per cent in the year to July according to CoreLogic, the biggest annual fall in 6 years. The Reserve Bank remains positive, noting in the minutes of its August board meeting that the economy is improving, and its next interest rate move would be up. But it sees ‘no strong case’ to lift interest rates in the near term.
The Australian dollar fell to around US73c in August, down more than 7 per cent this year. In contrast, Wall Street hit record highs in August following comments from the Federal Reserve that it will continue to lift rates gradually provided ‘strong growth in incomes and jobs continues’.
Read more from our September 2018 update here:
- Plugging in to technology stock
- Young invincibles – the importance of insurance
- Lessons from the ‘rich list’
Contact us on 0883620060 to discuss your existing financial plan