The GBP AUD exchange rate was -0.36% lower on Wednesday after the release of Australian inflation figures. The latest data saw the inflation rate soaring to a 20-yr high of 5.1% and will stoke the fire of RBA rate hike expectations.
The GBP to AUD was trading at 1.7570 with the pound sterling on the back foot again.
Australian inflation soars to 5.1% on fuel and home building costs
Headline inflation surged to 5.1 per cent in the first three months of the year in Australia, the highest annual level in over 20 years, driven by record high petrol prices and rising costs for home building.
The results were well ahead of a predicted 4.6%, with the Reserve Bank’s preferred measure lifted to 3.7 per cent, well outside the RBA’s target band of 2-3%.
“The CPI recorded its largest quarterly and annual rises since the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST),” Australian Bureau of Statistics head Michelle Marquardt said.
Households felt the biggest strain from price rises, with non-discretionary inflation, which includes expenses such as food, petrol, housing and health costs, higher by 6.6 per cent over the year to March 31.
Price rises were seen across all food and non-food grocery products, which the ABS said reflecting a range of price pressures including transport costs, supply chain disruptions and increased input costs.
“The CPI’s automotive fuel series reached a record level for the third consecutive quarter,” Marquardt added.
The election race is now seeing inflation at the centre of the campaign trail. Prime Minister Scott Morrison brought a bar-graph to a rally to compare Australia’s headline CPI inflation to other developed nations.
However, with the most recent data showing annual wages growth of 2.3 per cent, Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers was quick to stress the growing gap.
“Hardworking Australians are being held back by pay that isn’t keeping up with prices, generational debt without a generational dividend and no real plan to fix the cost-of-living crisis beyond the election,” Mr Chalmers said.
The inflation figures are already stoking rate hike talk with Westpac expecting a large increase at the June meeting.
UK has imported £220 million of Russian fuel since invasion
Eight tankers carrying around £220 million of Russian oil imports have come to Britain since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, according to new analysis by Greenpeace.
The campaigning group set up an automated tracker of supertankers, which counted 1.9 million barrels of oil imports, most of which was diesel.
Russia supplies around 18% of the UK’s diesel, used mainly in cars and heavy transport, as well as farm and fishing. The UK has committed to phasing out Russian oil by the end of the year in an attempt to “choke off a valuable source of income” to Moscow.
The deadline for the end of the year is said to allow time to adjust supply chains and minimise disruption, but makes a mockery of the UK’s aggressive sanctions on ‘supporters’ of the Putin government.