It’s August, and this chilly winter and periodic lockdowns can’t end fast enough for many of us. One bright spot, along with the golden wattle at this time of year, is the golden performance of our athletes in Tokyo.

The economic fallout from on-again, off-again lockdowns continued in July. The annual rate of inflation rose from 1.1% to 3.8% in the June quarter. This temporary blip was due to higher prices for childcare (which was free in the June quarter last year), petrol and goods in short supply due to supply chain and workforce disruptions. Even so, the Reserve Bank has said it won’t consider lifting interest rates until inflation is “sustainably” within its 2-3% target range.

The Australian economy is expected to contract and unemployment to rise in the September quarter, after the jobless rate fell from 5.1% to a 10-year low of 4.9% in June. Not surprisingly, consumer confidence as measured by ANZ and Roy Morgan fell to an 8-month low of 100.7 points in July. Retail trade fell 1.8% in June but remained 2.9% up on a year earlier.

For us at Excel, the new financial year has been extremely busy. In addition to the normal start of tax-season rush coinciding with school holidays, the Accounting Standards Board has mandated changes to all accounting professional engagement letters from 1 July 2021, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission has mandated changes to all ongoing financial planning engagements from 1 July 2021, and one of the main bookkeeping software programs we use has been decommissioned and we have had to transition clients on to new software. Unfortunately this has put us a little behind in some of our work for clients but we’re hoping to catch up over the coming month. For everyone whose work has been delayed we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Essential Energy have informed us that on the 19 August 2021 they are undertaking general network maintenance and we will be again with no power for the day and the office will be closed.

Stuart Fitzpatrick and Excel Financial Advisors Pty Ltd are authorised representatives of Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd AFSL 246638 registered office at Level 8, 525 Finders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information. Investment Performance: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns as future returns may differ from and be more or less volatile than past returns.