Families are paying just under $300 a month to fill up the car at the bowser, with petrol prices back just below March’s record high.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum reported on Monday the national average unleaded petrol price rose by a cent to 212.1 cents a litre last week.

The figure was a fraction below the record high of 212.5c/l on March 20, with pump prices hitting record highs in Melbourne (229.3c/l) and Darwin (209.8c/l).

CommSec estimates it is costing the average family $296.94 a month to fill up the car with petrol, or an extra $74.76 a month compared with the start of the year.

MotorMouth recorded the following average retail prices for unleaded fuel: Sydney 200.0c/l; Melbourne 230.0c/l; Brisbane 198.8c/l; Adelaide 191.1c/l; Perth 193.1c/l; Hobart 215.6c/l; Darwin 209.8c/l and Canberra 220.0c/l.

Motorists have been advised to delay filling up their tanks as prices are likely to ease.

Meanwhile, the National Skills Commission’s preliminary Internet Vacancy Index rose by 1.2 per cent in June, with 303,434 available positions advertised last month – the highest level since April 2008.

Recruitment activity was up by 29.3 per cent in June on a year ago and is 80.3 per cent (or around 135,200 available positions) higher than pre-COVID levels.

CommSec’s Ryan Felsman said the result pointed to a solid June labour force figure, due to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Commonwealth Bank Group economists expect around 25,000 jobs to be added in June, with the national unemployment rate easing from 3.9 per cent to 3.8 per cent, the lowest level since August 1974.

Addressing the tightening of the labour market is in the government’s sights, with business and industry crying out for skilled workers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Monday announced a jobs and skills summit would be held on September 1 and 2 in Canberra.

Dr Chalmers said the summit would be one part of the government’s economic plan, which would also include the October budget, the May 2023 budget and an employment white paper developed over the next 12 months.

“We see the task of boosting incomes and solving labour shortages and making the economy more productive and making everybody better off … is the task of every single day that we are in office,” Dr Chalmers said.

Acting opposition leader Sussan Ley said the challenges for the economy were “well known”.

“Let’s save everyone the trip to Canberra and just get on with skilling Australians,” she tweeted on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Bank’s household spending intentions index for June will be released, alongside the ABS’s household spending indicator for May.

Also on Tuesday, the latest consumer confidence data will be released by ANZ-Roy Morgan and the Westpac-Melbourne Institute.

It is expected the surveys will underline consumer concern about rising inflation and interest rates.

The National Australia Bank will issue its June business survey featuring updates on confidence and conditions on Tuesday.

Confidence and conditions eased in May, but remain above their long-run averages with employment conditions hitting a 10-month high.

Economists will be examining the ABS’s March quarter building activity report on Wednesday for the latest indications of dwelling starts and “work yet to be done” estimates.

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)