"Today's inflation data is a clear warning that our economy should prepare for further interest rate increases in the coming months," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Australian Industry Group said today.

"That our current monetary policy settings have not yet brought inflation to heel leaves little room to doubt that more tightening by the Reserve Bank may be required.

"Our members across the economy are advising that inflationary and cost pressures are still running very strongly with no clear easing in sight. Wages, energy and insurance increases are among the myriad of cost challenges that industry continues to face.

"Any further rate increases will undoubtedly lead to businesses making hard decisions about their staffing levels. Businesses across the economy have been preparing the ground for redundancies over the past year as those costs constrain their options to manage their way through the current difficulties.

"It is essential that governments help to contain inflation. Recent budgets featuring unrestrained spending, which have driven up debt and deficits, particularly at the state level, have been especially unhelpful in the inflation fight.

"It is not sustainable to have monetary and fiscal policy continuing to work against each other," Mr Willox said.

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