Bowser prices keep soaring
DON’T WATCH: Best to look away from the bowser when filling up next time. The average household has seen
their monthly fuel bill jump $ 25 in the past four months to $ 200 MOTORISTS filling their cars up at the bowser probably wonder where the dollar clock is going next.
Commonwealth Securities calculates that the average household has seen their monthly fuel bill jump $ 25 in the past four months to $ 200, as petrol prices rose to their highest level in 29 months. And it might not end there. Last Monday’s weekly petrol prices report by the Australian Institute of Petroleum showed the average price in the preceding seven days for unleaded fuel rose a further 0.5 cents per litre to just over $ 1.43.
But for the poor souls living in Canberra, the price soared 11.5 cents to $ 1.49.
Some may say Canberra deserves it – if talking in the generic sense of parliament – for introducing a carbon pricing plan.
But there are plenty of other residents other than those in the Lodge.
The federal opposition claims that a carbon tax will add 6.5 cents per litre to the price of fuel, which now seems pretty reasonable as a price move if you live in the capital.
Of course, we still don’t know what impact the carbon tax will have on households, or anything for that matter. We still only have a start date. What we do know, that with some relative stability returning to global financial markets after the shock of the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan, coupled with its nuclear reactor scare, world oil prices are again on the march.
The benchmark international crude price rose to over $ US106.50 ($ A104.42) at one stage on Thursday, the highest since September 2008.
Analysis by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released this week says oil prices have risen some $ US25 in the past three months.
With all the other cost-of-living pressures households are suffering at the moment, rising petrol prices are probably the last straw.
However, the OECD does not believe the inflationary impact of higher oil prices should result in the need for higher interest rates.
Australia’s own inflation rate is expected to spike when the consumer price index for the March quarter is released on April 27.
Treasurer Wayne Swan reiterated in parliament this week that CPI inflation would add 0.5 percentage point in the quarter from the effect on food prices from the January floods and Cyclone Yasi.
The expectation is in line with the Reserve Bank.
In its assessment, the OECD says while concerns about oil supply disruption have driven up oil prices, it appears that spare capacity in Saudi Arabia would suffice to compensate for production losses in Libya.
‘‘ However, if spare capacity were to be exhausted, there could be further oil price hikes, and price volatility might increase.’’
Best to look away from the bowser when filling up next time.