It’s December – the month that always seem to race by as we approach the end of the year and all the festivities it brings. We hope you all have a lovely, happy, and safe festive season.
On the economic news front, there was some good news. Consumer prices eased by more than expected in October. The news that inflation may have been tamed means interest rate rises may be behind us, for now. The positive data also led to a jump in the Australian dollar, taking it to a new four-month high.
Retail spending slowed in October after a short-lived boost in August and September. But, in a further sign of good times ahead, business investment in the September quarter increased by 0.6% to almost $40 billion.
In mixed outcomes for sharemarket investors, there were some devastating lows this year, and a flat performance as November ended, but the ASX200 is up 4 points since the beginning of the year. The unemployment rate has increased slightly to 3.7% with an extra 27,900 people out of work in October.
Overseas, China’s plan to bolster support for infrastructure drove iron ore prices 36% higher than the low in May. Although prices slipped $4 in November from a one-year high of $138 per tonne. While oil prices have steadied with cuts to production on the table to reduce stocks. Brent crude ended the month at around $83.