The economy is in focus as elections approach

The election campaign will soon be over, but not before learning more about the country’s economy. 1News business reporter Katie Bradford sets the scene for the week ahead as voters head to the polls.

An uninspired election at times. Whether you’re „in the middle of nowhere,” or feeling the cost of living because you can’t find the money for daycare bills at the doctor or dentist, it’s hard.

Big ideas like introducing a wealth tax were quashed by Labor early on, and National was caught up in its own mathematical mess – otherwise known as its tax plan.

So the big promises turned into a few dollars saved at the supermarket with GST-free fruit and vegetables, or 3000 families getting $250 a fortnight that National is so proud of. This is all because of the dreaded word inflation.

As the country heads towards elections, some data will be released on Thursday and Friday that will provide a glimpse into how inflation is tracking.

The big one is the cost of food.

Last year’s increase was 8.9%, down from a peak of more than 12%.

Electronic spending data due on Friday will also show whether people are spending less as inflation tightens.

But other than those, it’s a wait and see. While many voters are eager to vote, or wish the election is over, many parts of the economy remain on hold.

Last week we saw the RBI keeping the official cash rate steady, and the election was a factor in that decision.

Homebuyers and sellers are waiting to see who wins and what that means for the housing market, with broad expectations that a National-led government will boost the market. The share market is also likely to be in a bit of a holding pattern.

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But for those desperate for some economic news, it comes two days after the election. Whoever forms the government – or those trying to form it – will know on Tuesday next week how much inflation they will have to contend with.

That’s when the Consumer Price Index, our main measure of inflation, is released. Its trend is likely to continue to decline.

It doesn’t matter to those who still can’t afford a dentist.

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