Catch up on the news that matters to small business owners with our daily briefs. Here’s what you need to know on Monday, September 16 2019.
Expect a price hike at the bowsers
Oil prices have jumped 13 per cent to US$68 a barrel today following drone attacks on the Saudi refineries over the weekend. With about 6 per cent of the world’s oil supply now knocked out, motorists should expect to feel it in their hip pocket. Commsec’s Craig James has suggested Aussie wallets could be smashed by an 8 cent increase per litre at the pump.
James told the ABC: “Every US dollar per barrel increase in the price of oil is basically a cent at the Australian petrol bowser”.
China-US trade risky for Australia
As the US-China trade war continues to ramp up, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is warning of long-term risks for Australia, despite suggesting the trade war will bring some initial short-term gains. Internal documents released by the RBA today say the trade war will cut about 0.20 of a percentage point off economic growth in 2019 and 2020. The RBA suggests Australia may even benefit from Chinese demand for natural resources such as gas and iron ore. However, if the trade war continues long-term, negative impacts will begin to manifest. The RBA warns a more dramatic escalation in trade disputes could lead to a much larger negative impact that will affect global supply chains and trade in the region.
Unemployment expected to rise as construction jobs fall
Australia’s unemployment rate is expected to hit 5.3 per cent this week as August job data is revealed. The rise has been driven by job losses in the construction industry which has shed some 50,000 jobs in the past year. Industry pundits are expecting the trend to accelerate as the property development in the residential sector continues to slow.
Callam Pickering, economist, at global jobs’ site, Indeed, told ABC News with the construction boom now history, things could get worse.
“Our latest boom has now run its course and activity is expected to decline further over the next two years. Naturally, there is worry about construction workers.”