The warmer weather and spring rains are a welcome break from the colder months. And, while outside activities become more tempting, don’t forget to find a moment or two to review your finances to make sure you’re up-to-date and on-track.

Household wealth has increased for the third quarter in a row. It rose by 2.6% in the June quarter, pushed up by rising house prices and increases in superannuation balances. Meanwhile demand for credit was the lowest since 2005. But consumers are not spending and consumer confidence is down. Retail sales growth was the slowest since the pandemic lockdown.

While the number of job vacancies have fallen by about 18% since their peak in May this year, they are still around 72 per cent higher than just before the pandemic – that’s an extra 160,000 positions that employers are looking to fill. Unemployment was unchanged at 3.7%.

The Australian dollar rebounded a little to finish the month where it began but it’s ended the quarter about 3% thanks to surging oil prices, interest rate uncertainty and the US markets.

Brent crude has continued its relentless climb since June, ending the month just over 30% higher than three months ago. That’s pushed petrol prices ever higher – about 17% over the same period – with the national average price for unleaded at $2.11 a litre compared to $1.80 in June. Oil prices are expected to continue to increase because of depleted US inventories and cuts to production in Saudia Arabia and Russia. Increasing petrol prices helped fuel a jump in inflation last month.

To read our latest newsletter – The Rich Life Vol 74, simply click here.

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