Finally, some good economic news today – unemployment has fallen. An extra 29,800 jobs were created in June, most of them full-time, knocking the jobless rate down a notch to 4.2%.
The result well exceeded market expectations of a 10,000 job rise, while the heavy bias towards full-time jobs was also unexpected.
Feel better? Now the bad news.
According to a key measure of consumer inflationary expectations, prices are set to remain at uncomfortable levels for the next month.
The Melbourne Institute inflationary expectations index for July remained unchanged from last month at 5.9%, the highest level it has reached since starting in 1993.
Only 7.5% of the 1200 people surveyed for the index said they expected inflation to stay within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2% to 3% target band.
And if that’s not enough gloom for you, don’t forget to take a glance at the sharemarket. At 12.15pm the S&P/ASX200 is down 1.8% on yesterday’s close to 4919.6, with bank stocks leading the falls.
But rest assured, as bad as things may look here, they are much, much worse in the US – renewed financial woes there have helped the Australian dollar up 0.4% today to US95.95c.