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Inflation,Currency & Tech

Inflation is steady at 2.4% for the year 2003 according to the Consumer Price Index for December released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au) yesterday. Whilst some items rose faster than the CPI average [house purchase (+6.4%), hospital and medical services (+9.1%), beer (+6.9%)] technology is dirt cheap with the cost of audio, visual and computing equipment down 21.3%. This is primarily due to US and Japanese currency falling 24.5% and 16.5% over the year versus the Aussie dollar.

FinDem has now added four currency series to the data series able to be graphed under the Graphing option in the Research Centre. The series are US dollar(USD), Japanese Yen(JPY), UK Pound(UKP) and the Trade Weighted Index(TWI) which is a weighted index of import and exports by currency. Data on each series goes back to May 1970. The data is derived from the Reserve Bank Bulletin.(www.rba.gov.au/Statistics/Bulletin/F11hist.xls)

Please note the values in the FinDem data are reciprocal of the RBA exchange rates being the number of Australian dollars required to buy one unit of the particular foreign currency. This means that when you see a negative percentage change on the graphs, it is less costly for Australians to buy overseas produced goods and vice versa. We think this is an easier way for Australian consumers and travellers to look at exchange rates - What do you think? - Feedback is always welcome.

Posted Thursday, 29 January 2004

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