This week saw the release of the January 2023 Commsec State of the States report and while Tasmania was ranked Australia’s best performing economy in the previous report, we’ve now slipped to number two. While we still lead the nation with our investment in plant and equipment (76.8% above the decade average), Tasmania falls behind in areas such as inflation, with Hobart having the highest inflation rate in the September quarter at 8.6% and retail spending, which dropped by 0.9%.
There is real concern that this drop in retail spending is a sign that increased costs of living, and decreased discretionary spending is hurting our economy. A big contributor to increased costs of living and a huge expense to business is energy pricing. According to an article published on The Examiner website this morning, wholesale electricity prices have started to drop and federal market intervention to cap prices has made an impact, but is enough being done to reduce the cost of living and to ensure power prices don’t jeopardise the viability of our local businesses? Is it time for government action to decrease the cost of living and increase confidence?