The war in Ukraine overshadowed financial markets throughout the month, but hopes of a breakthrough in peace talks lifted sentiment towards risk assets. Solid gains among US-listed stocks helped the MSCI World Index rise more than 3%.
The Budget boost for low to middle income earners, in particular, was designed to improve the Government’s approval ratings ahead of May’s Federal Election.
Other forecasts released alongside the Budget provided further grounds for optimism. Officials expect unemployment to fall to 3.75% later
this year – from 4.0% currently – and annual wage growth to rise above 3% for the first time in a decade.
If these forecasts prove accurate, the Reserve Bank of Australia is more likely to follow other central banks and start raising official
interest rates in the months ahead.
A rally in the second half of the month helped global share markets generate solid gains in January, extending the rally from November and December.
Recent research shows why giving to others can provide us with a mental boost. We feel happier when we have a choice in how and who we give, and when we see the results of our generosity.
Investment markets have shown a lot of enthusiasm for AI and Chat GPT technology. AI productivity gains could boost economic growth and
share market performance across the world.