Signs that petrol prices are heading back to the record highs seen in March are likely to weigh on the mood of Australians after the outgoing coalition government’s much-touted fuel excise cut provided only limited support.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum in its weekly report said the national average price for petrol as of Sunday jumped by a further 14.1 cents to 199.1 cents a litre, the fifth consecutive weekly rise.

This was despite the halving of fuel excise as part of an $8.6 billion cost-of-living assistance package in the March budget.

Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James said this was the third largest weekly rise on record, and is just 13 cents per litre below the record highs seen in March.

He estimated that as of Monday the average petrol price was already at 206 cents a litre and up 45.6 cents from recent lows.

“It is costing the average family $278.74 a month to fill up the car with petrol, an extra $57 a month compared with the start of the year,” Mr James said.

How this is impacting on households more generally may be picked up in the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index released on Tuesday.

The index – a pointer to future household spending – has fallen for four straight weeks and now stands at its lowest level since August 2020.

Rising cost pressures more generally and this month’s rise in interest rates, and with more to come, has undermined confidence in recent weeks.

The fall in confidence has been most notable among respondents who are paying off a home loan, slumping 14.7 per cent over the previous three weeks.

The confidence survey – which runs from Monday to Sunday – will pick-up the initial results of Saturday’s federal election, which saw Labor and a swag of independents end nearly a decade of coalition government.

Australian Associated Press

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