It’s October, a turning point in the year when the days begin to get longer and many states switch to daylight saving. Time to spring clean your home, your finances or your business ahead of the summer rush.
September was a month of continuing uncertainty on the global stage. The ongoing US-China trade dispute, political turmoil in the UK as the Brexit deadline looms and a drone strike on a Saudi Arabian oil processing plant all weighed on financial markets. Oil prices initially spiked then eased to finish the month up almost 5 per cent. As a result, Australians are paying more for fuel, with the average price of unleaded petrol rising to 149.7c a litre by the end of September, 8c above the 12-month average.
On a positive note, Australia’s budget deficit shrank to $148 million in the year to May, effectively balanced and below estimates at the time of the April Budget. Our trade surplus hit a record $52.3 billion in the year to July, underpinned by another record surplus with China. Nevertheless, business and consumers remain subdued.
Interest rates are at historic lows as the Reserve Bank dropped the Official Cash Rate to 0.75% on the 1st of October, with many economic forecasters tipping a further 0.25% fall by early next year. Unemployment edged up to 5.3 per cent in August, the highest level in 12 months, while job vacancies fell 1.9 per cent in the year to August, the biggest decline in over 5 years. The Australian dollar rose slightly to US67.5c on US dollar weakness.
We’ve had a strong influx of new clients over the past few months, and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has referred a family member or friend to us – it is great to know you value our work and are comfortable recommending our services.
Our new website is up and running – we’re really pleased with the new look and feel, and are planning to add more valuable content over the next few months. A big thank you to our niece Jeni for all the hard work building the website.