Welcome to our June newsletter, as the winter sets in and the end of the financial year approaches, it’s a good chance to spend some time tidying up and reviewing your finances. Concerns that the Reserve Bank may lift interest rates this month, along with the drama over the US debt ceiling and the worry that the US Treasury may run out of cash, have affected local markets and the Australian dollar.
The dollar is at its lowest level in six months, at just under US65 cents, while the ASX200 ended the month nearly 3% down thanks also to weaker commodity prices. Energy and mining stocks led the falls. Brent Crude was down 7.5% for the month while iron ore prices hit a six-month low.
Inflation rose 6.8% in the 12 months to April, up from 6.3% in March and the number of housing approvals nosedived in April, down 8.1% after a 1.0% fall in March. The rising prices have continued to dent consumer confidence. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey has now spent 13 straight weeks at its lowest mark since the 1990-1991 recession. The survey reveals that only 7% of Australians expect good times ahead for the Australian economy in the next 12 months. With less money to go around, retail trade has plateaued over the past six months.
The latest unemployment figures show a slight increase to 3.7% in April and a slight decrease in the participation rate.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who were able to attend the Centaur Financial Services Investment Update and Budget Briefing on the 24th of May 2023. It was a wonderful morning with our special guests Noel Whittaker and Vince Pezzullo with 120 people who attended. We plan to do more events like that so that our clients have a greater level of certainty and confidence as they begin to plan for or move into retirement and throughout the retirement years.