In this issue:
- Australia still punching above its weight
- Greater choice in home care
- Delayed gratification – are you too soft on yourself
As April arrives Queenslanders are clearing up after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie which damaged homes, businesses and agricultural crops. The full financial cost won’t be known for some time, but in the meantime our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those affected.
Cyclone Debbie hit our shores just as the Australian farm sector had been enjoying the best conditions for decades. In early March, farm cash incomes were tipped to rise by 11 per cent this financial year before falling to more ‘normal’ levels in 2017-18, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
On the global economic front, the big news in March was the US Federal Reserve’s decision to lift interest rates by 0.25 basis points to between 0.75 per cent and 1 per cent. This is the second rise in three months, with two more expected this year. The immediate effect is a rise in the cost of funds for anyone borrowing in the US. Australia’s big four banks, which get 40 percent of their funding overseas, lifted home loan interest rates for owner occupiers and investors.
The Australian dollar also jumped to 77.3 US cents on the news before slipping back below 77 US cents. The Reserve Bank opted to keep official rates steady in March, weighing up the continuing property boom in parts of the country with a softer employment market and low wages growth. Unemployment rose to 5.9 per cent in February from 5.7 per cent in January.
Australia, take a bow. We are on the brink of overtaking the Netherlands’ record for the longest period without a recession and very close to pulling off an even greater feat. Not only have we survived the end of an extraordinary mining boom without going bust, but the economy is showing signs of… Read more
When loved ones become frail and elderly, families may feel that moving them into a retirement home is their only option. But that’s no longer the case. Recent changes to home care provision funding now give older people more choice and control over the type of assistance they can receive if they… Read more
When was the last time you had to wait for something you really, really wanted? Not just your morning coffee, or your favourite tipple at the end of a long day – something seriously important? Now think, when was the last time you could have had something, but put it off? If you ca… Read more