High fuel prices to flow through to inflation print

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Inflation has come off its highs but the road back down is proving bumpy.

A jump in petrol prices is expected to show up in the monthly consumer prices index when the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases the August report on Wednesday.

In July, the monthly indicator recorded a substantial slowdown in inflation to 4.9 per cent from 5.4 per cent in June.

AMP economists expect the indicator to lift a little to 5.3 per cent annually in August, while ANZ is tipping a flat result at 4.9 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank economists have pencilled in a lift to 5.1 per cent to reflect the 8-12 per cent boost to petrol and diesel prices over the month.

The consumer price index will also include important markers of services inflation, which has been a source of concern for the Reserve Bank.

The central bank has been lifting interest rates to bring inflation down and a re-acceleration of inflation could complicate matters.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the inflation figures could swing around month to month but the overall direction of travel was down.

“Getting from A to B on inflation is not necessarily a straight line,” he told reporters on Friday.

The nation will also get an update on its consumption habits with the ABS due to release retail sales data for August on Thursday.

The dataset will be of interest to the RBA as it looks to get a handle on the health of the household sector.

Other points of interest include finance and wealth data for the June quarter, to be released on Thursday, and lending data on Friday.

Assistant RBA governor Brad Jones is due to appear on a panel on Monday.

Local investors will react to a tumultuous week on Wall St which closed lower after benchmark Treasury yields hit 16-year highs as investors digested the Federal Reserve’s hawkish outlook revisions.

The S&P 500 lost 10.75 points, or 0.25 per cent, to end at 4,319.25 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 12.18 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 13,211.81.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 106.91 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 33,963.51.

Australian share futures fell 18 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7086.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index steadily clawed back its losses to finish Friday up 3.6 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 7,068.8.

But the index still suffered its worst week in a year, losing 2.9 per cent across five days of trading.

 

Poppy Johnston
(Australian Associated Press)

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