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Australia – quarterly inflation rate declining

Today (January 25, 2023), the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest – Consumer Price Index, Australia – for the December-quarter 2022. It showed that the CPI rose 1.8 per cent in the quarter (down 0.1 point) and over the 12 months by 7.8 per cent (up 0.5 points). So, the annual inflation rate in Australia was higher in the December-quarter, but, the quarterly rate was lower, suggesting that the current episode is losing steam. The major sources of price increases are temporary – overshoots on pre-pandemic travel and holidays, anti-competitive cartel behaviour and the War in Ukraine. These influences are supplemented by shortages of building materials due to bushfires and food price inflation due to the major floods. The correct policy response should be to provide fiscal support for lower-income households to help them cope with the cost of living rises at present. Increasing interest rates again will not solve the problem that is already abating.

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Migrating to Mastodon and some additional announcements

Today, I have a few news and information items. First, I detail how to migrate to Mastodon so that you can continue to follow me as I escape Twitter. Second, I provide enrolment details for the next offering of our MMT edX MOOC. Third, I provide access details to my annual Helsinki public lecture which will take place tomorrow starting at 19:00 EAST.

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My blog is on holidays until Monday, January 9, 2023

My blog is on holiday until Monday, January 7, 2023. I have lots of things to finish writing to meet deadlines and a lot of personal things to do (moving things, etc) which require travel and time. So I am using this week for that. Happy 2023 to all. I can’t say it is an optimistic outlook but hope springs eternal. To the obsessives declaring Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is dead I urge sedatives. To those declaring Covid to be a conspiracy of big pharma, I hope you don’t catch it. To others, all the best.

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I am no longer writing a blog post on Tuesdays

Now I am back in Australia for a while, I am using this time to continue my studies in the Japanese language to better prepare myself for when I return there to work in 2023. I have to learn 2056 Kanji characters for a start. So unless there is some major issue that has to be dealt with on a Tuesday, my blog will be silent on Tuesdays from now on.

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Learning while on the job …

For the past several months I have been learning Japanese. I am now working at Kyoto University under a JSPS International Fellowship and living near the main campus. Each morning I go running along the Kamo River, which runs north-south through the east side of the city. It is a marvellous resource for runners, walkers,…
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Off to Japan I go

Today, I am skipping my Japanese language class and heading to the airport. I am taking up a position at Kyoto University under a JSPS Invitational Fellowship. I am working with the team in the Resilience Unit there on a project studying the design of fiscal policy for building national resilience using Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) principles. Resilience is an important part of the degrowth and deep adaptation agenda and I will spend some months there working on with other researchers. The – Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is ‘Japan’s sole independent funding agency dedicated to the advancement of science’ and is overseen by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. I am very privileged to receive one of the invitations. So from tomorrow I will be in Kyoto and depending on commitments my blog posts might be a little less regular although I think I will be able to continue the usual output. Now, it is time to put my Tuesday languages class into action – along with Google translate! Some travelling music follows.

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