Living costs rise, with wages expected to follow

Some essential living costs have risen considerably over the past year, but Australians may soon have more money in their pockets to pay for them, it has been revealed.

According to the latest Consumer Price Index, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, utility bills and healthcare costs have gone up markedly over the last year to March.

Electricity costs have increased by more than 18 per cent, the data showed, while water bills went up by more than 14 per cent, petrol costs by more than nine per cent and health bills by more than five per cent.

However, commenting on the figures, Commsec economist Craig James said average wages are also likely to increase as the job market tightens.
Speaking to, he noted that employers are currently "out in force" looking for staff, adding: "This sort of environment is conducive to wage increases occurring."

Rising living costs and wages could prompt more Australians to compare savings accounts in search of the best returns for their money. In a column for Coolum News This week, Paul Clitheroe, founding director of financial planning firm ipac, urged Australians to transfer their surplus funds into high interest online savings accounts.

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