As economy slows, attention turns to monthly inflation data

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the February consumer price index data, providing insight into inflation. In January, the index remained steady at 3.4 per cent annually, falling short of economists’ expectations. This data only captures a portion of the overall basket of goods and services included in the quarterly report. Treasurer Jim Chalmers cautioned that the monthly figures may fluctuate but overall, inflation is showing signs of improvement.

Despite the Reserve Bank’s efforts to address inflation through interest rate hikes, it remains above the target range of two-three per cent. While inflation has been declining from its peak in late 2022, forecasts suggest it will not return to target levels until the end of next year. The February data will provide valuable insights into the cost-of-living pressures faced by consumers.

By Samantha Robertson

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