It’s been an up-and-down week for economic data, with our economy recording a 2.4% growth rate over 2016 – after all that talk of recession. Australia, said economists, ‘‘ has its mojo back’ ’.

But with wage growth at an all time low and penalty rates about to take a $77 a week knock, the rest of us might not be popping the bubbly just yet….

…Unless you are selling a house. Sydney’s runaway housing prices are forecast to surge throughout the year, after rising more than 18 per cent in the past 12 months, the fastest pace in 15 years.

CorelLogic says Sydney’s boom underpinned price growth of nearly 12 per cent across the capital cities. In Sydney, prices rose 2.6 per during February and in Canberra prices were up 3.2 per cent, but in Darwin housing values fell 4.3 per cent for the month. Melbourne, where prices rose 1.5 per cent last month, contrasts with Perth where prices dropped 2.4 per cent and Brisbane where values were down 0.4 per cent.

As the banks launched new “no frills” credit cards, a sober warning from ace financial guru Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon in The Sun-Herald about switching cards.  Our savvy banks are smart enough to see a trend and charge for it! She warns of clawbacks: higher annual fees, a balance transfer fee and surcharges among them. And the ME bank reminded us that they have had a no frills credit card with 9.99% interest since 2014!

Meanwhile, from our “It had to happen” department: an American company, Yondr, is marketing a neoprene pouch for your smart phone.  The idea is that you go to a party, and leave your phone at the door so addicts can’t check your emails or post to social media. The company organisers  “You Had to Be There” parties.

“Before you begin hyperventilating , it’s not like a coat check — you don’t actually part with your smartphone. As you enter the venue, a host places your phone in a locking pouch and hands it back.

The mechanism works a lot like a department store security tag. When you exit the space and tap the pouch on an unlocking pod, you and your precious phone reunite.

One for the Sharktank?  We don’t think so…

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