April 2017

As April arrives Queenslanders are clearing up after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie which damaged homes, businesses and agricultural crops. The full financial cost won't be known for some time, but in the meantime our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those affected.

Cyclone Debbie hit our shores just as the Australian farm sector had been enjoying the best conditions for decades. In early March, farm cash incomes were tipped to rise by 11 per cent this financial year before falling to more 'normal' levels in 2017-18, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

We hope you get some time to relax over the upcoming month with many holidays taking place for a lot of people. We will be available and the office itself will only be closed on the Public Holidays designated for Queensland. Daylight Saving has finished so we are again more aligned to other time zones for many of you.

On the global economic front, the big news in March was the US Federal Reserve's decision to lift interest rates by 0.25 basis points to between 0.75 per cent and 1 per cent. This is the second rise in three months, with two more expected this year. The immediate effect is a rise in the cost of funds for anyone borrowing in the US. Australia's big four banks, which get 40 percent of their funding overseas, lifted home loan interest rates for owner occupiers and investors.

The Australian dollar also jumped to 77.3 US cents on the news before slipping back below 77 US cents. The Reserve Bank opted to keep official rates steady in March, weighing up the continuing property boom in parts of the country with a softer employment market and low wages growth. Unemployment rose to 5.9 per cent in February from 5.7 per cent in January.

Delayed gratification: are you too soft on yourself?

When was the last time you had to wait for something you really, really wanted? Not just your morning coffee, or your favourite tipple at the end of a long day something seriously important?

Now think, when was the last time you could have had something, but put it off? If you can't think of an answer to either, you're not alone. People in general just aren't that good at waiting for things any more. But it might be time to have a think about why that is; after... Read more

Australia still punching above its weight

Australia, take a bow. We are on the brink of overtaking the Netherlands' record for the longest period without a recession and very close to pulling off an even greater feat. Not only have we survived the end of an extraordinary mining boom without going bust, but the economy is showing signs of renewed growth.

Many economic commentators feared the worst when Australia's economic growth went backwards by 0.5 per cent in the 2016 September quarter. But as the latest Bureau of Statistics national accounts show, the economy rebounded by... Read more

Great choice in home care

When loved ones become frail and elderly, families may feel that moving them into a retirement home is their only option. But that's no longer the case. Recent changes to home care provision funding now give older people more choice and control over the type of assistance they can receive if they want to keep living at home.

As of February 28, you can stipulate the type of service you want and choose a care provider who is sympathetic and culturally appropriate for your lifestyle. It's your choice. This consumer... Read more

Arrow Focus on Wealth
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W www.focusonwealth.com.au
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Steve Culpitt is a Sub Authorised Representative ( AR 270473) of Arrow Focus on Wealth.

Arrow Focus on Wealth Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 270472) of of GPS Wealth Ltd AFSL 254 544 Australian Credit Licence 254 544 ABN 17 005 482 726 General Advice Warning: This communication contains general advice only. The information has not been prepared to take into account your specific objectives, needs and financial situation. The information may not be appropriate to your individual needs and you should seek advice before making any decisions regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

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