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One of Australia’s most trusted economic megabrains has today hosed down any suggestions that life is getting difficult for everyday people who can’t see the Pacific ocean from their bedrooms.
Augustus Spence (38) makes up one of the last 35 Australian journalists employed by metropolitan masthead news publishers, and one of the 25 finance and real estate speculators within that cohort.
He thinks this talk of an imminent recession is a bit of a beat up, and that neither rising inflation or interest rates are really causing as much ‘financial stress’ as consumer advocacy groups – or even politicians – are claiming.
“Yeah I heard something like 51 per cent of Aussies were cutting back on eating out and drinking out, and 36 per cent had limited how often they go out to events like movies, sports games and concerts.” he says.
“But I imagine that happens every year after everyone returns from overseas holidays and spending big on Christmas presents”
Like every other finance reporter in Australia, Spence’s spends most of his time between North Bondi and Circular Quay, with the occasional trip to Byron or Melbourne. However, he does claim to have visited Cairns once for two hours before catching the shuttle bus to Port Douglas.
Augustus says whether he’s travelling for work, or for holidays, he’s yet to really see anything too dire – and this kind of fear-mongering only makes things worse.
“I mean when you look around, it’s nothing like a REAL recession. I mean, yeah petrol are a bit exy because of this war in Ukraine, but more people are driving electronic vehicles than ever before. I literally two more Teslas on my street every time I leave the house.
Recent reports suggest a key indicator of a cost-of-living crisis is the increasing numbers of suburban business owners being asked to take bank notes from the 1980s as payment – an insinuation that families are now incorporating their cash nest-eggs into household budgets.
Augusts refuses to believe that could be the case.
“I mean… I don’t know how to say this… But isn’t that like an immigrant thing? Haha”
“It’s hardly a bellwether… They hate using eftpos. They hate the banks”
“They keep cash under the mattress or the fig tree regardless of how badly the economy is doing… In fact, their cash only economics even be contributing to inflation – when you think about it”
When asked his thoughts on the very visible increase in homelessness across both metropolitian and regional Australia, it appears that Augustus is forced to finally concede that things aren’t as good as he makes out in his weekly collumns.
“Yeah.,.” he sighs.
“A lot of people really went a bit cuckoo during the pandemic, didn’t they”