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Croations are worried the Euro is leading to higher prices



The country adopted the euro as its offical currency on January 1

Croatians are complaining about steep price hikes after the country introduced the euro on January 1.

The situation has left the government and businesses at loggerheads with traders blaming inflation for the rises.

At this open-air market in Zagreb, people are on the hunt for the freshest produce and the lowest prices.

But since Croatia started using the euro at the beginning of the year – shoppers say prices have spiked, making that hunt a lot harder.

“We have all felt the price increases,” says one woman. “It’s certainly 30% more, for everything.”

This shopper says he’s felt it too – adding that he knows people looking for new jobs to cope.

When traders began to round prices from the local currency in January – most shot up.

The government has threatened sanctions unless they cut prices back again – but traders point the finger at inflation.

Igor Vujovic is the president of the country’s consumers’ association.

“We have been observing what’s happened from January 1, when we switched to the euro, and the prices have been going wild. Energy, oil, electricity and water prices didn’t change in the previous two months. We switched to the euro and the prices are still rising between 5 and 20 percent, I can say everyday in the last 10 days – it depends on the product.”

Over a two-week period, inspectors handed out fines totalling more than $250,000 and found about 40 percent of businesses hiked prices unjustifiably.

Critics say the government rushed to introduce the euro amid an energy crisis and high inflation.

Last year Croatia reported one of the highest inflation rates in the EU, with an annual rate of 10.8 percent.

But the government has long argued the euro will make Croatia’s economy stronger and make the country more resistant to external shocks. #trending #featured

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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