“We are providing payments to retirees and others on fixed income, and we cut the excise duty on petrol in half to deal with the spike that was going on,” he told Sky News on Friday.
Albanese said Australians needed more than one-time payments to cope with cost-of-living pressures.
“What we really need are strategies and plans to make sure no one is left behind,” he said in Sydney on Friday. “No one was left behind, and no one was held back. That is Labour’s approach. That’s where we’ll go.”
This week, the Reserve Bank raised policy rates for the first time in 11 years from a record low of 0.1 percent to 0.35 percent, with more significant increases scheduled for the second half of the year and until 2023, in an attempt to counter rising inflation.
In its meetings with the companies, the bank was told by the RBA’s business liaison program that more than half of the companies expected to raise wages by more than 3 per cent next year.
Companies were also passing on cost increases due to lingering supply chain pressures and sustained demand, the RBA said.
Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said a “more cautious approach” to wage growth was critical.
“The Reserve Bank statement raises concerns that inflation could rise further during the forecast period if excessive wage increases are pursued without achieving productivity gains,” he said.
“Shrinking margins mean companies are already forced to pass on higher costs to consumers. Aggressive wage growth will only stimulate further inflation growth.”
And the sources of inflation are widening. The prices of 70 percent of the products tracked in the consumer price index exceed the annual inflation rate of 2.5 percent, which the RBA says “is comparable to levels seen during the period of high inflation in Australia before of the global financial crisis”.
Clothing prices fell in the March quarter on the back of heavy discounting by companies keen to move overstock of summer clothing, but the RBA said its trade experts suggested some companies had hiked prices on items. of winter.
The RBA also forecasts core inflation to peak in December at 4.6 percent, before falling to the top of the RBA’s 2-3 percent target by the middle of next year.
The unemployment rate is expected to fall further, reaching 3.6% in June next year, while wages are forecast to hit 3% in December and 3.7% in June 2024.
GDP growth is forecast to pick up to 4.2% in December, before slowing to 2% at the end of 2023.
Commonwealth Bank Australian chief economist Gareth Aird said the RBA’s forecast for 2023 “should be taken with a grain of salt”.
“We say not so much because the RBA’s forecasting track record more recently hasn’t been particularly good. But rather because the economic results that we obtain in 2023 will depend very much on the type of tightening cycle that the RBA offers”, he said.
CBA economists believe a shallow tightening cycle (raising rates to a high of 1.6 percent by February next year and putting them on hold) would keep the economy strong into next year.
“We expect that a tightening cycle in line with our call will deliver the desired cooling in inflation while keeping the unemployment rate low and economic growth strong,” Aird said.
“But in our view, a more aggressive tightening cycle would lead to an increase in the unemployment rate and weaker economic growth.”
Cut through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Sign up for our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter here.