As we close out the first month of 2021, what have we learned?

Here's my top five:

  1. The annual inflation level in Australia was reported today at 0.9%, well under the RBA's 2-3% forecast. This means interest rates will remain low for longer.
  2. Global growth is looking more positive. The International Monetary Fund has raised its projections for global growth, and is expecting to see “low levels” of COVID-19 across the world by the end of 2022. GDP is expected to grow 5.5% in 2021, an upgrade from 5.2% in October last year. This means the global economy should stabilise, but it could take til the end of next year.
  3. JobKeeper will cease at the end of March, but there's been outcry from certain sectors that their recovery will continue to be hampered by the virus long into the future. This will likely force the government to consider offering targeted grants to certain industries such as travel, the arts and hospitality.
  4. Share markets globally (including ours) are near record highs despite the worst global recession since WWII. This means superannuation and other investments should have stabilised by now.
  5. The COVID vaccine will be offered to high-risk workers and old people first, not tourists, the World Health Organisation has said. "In the current period of very limited vaccine supply, preferential vaccination of international travellers would counter the principle of equity," the WHO said. This means you can hold off booking your Bali holiday for a while longer!