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ASX likely to lift and cost-of-living crisis causing sleepless nights

Boosting pay packets is a priority for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry released today, and Australia has the most expensive bottled water on the planet.

ASX stock market. Australian money.
The ASX is likely to lift today. (Source: Getty)

ASX and Wall street

Wall Street's main indexes have fallen after the European Central Bank raised its key policy rate despite fears of a global banking crisis, fuelling concerns the Federal Reserve could also tighten monetary policy for longer.

The local market closed at a 10-week low yesterday after the banking crisis spread to Europe amid fears about the solvency of Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse.

Money-laundering crackdown

Four national law-enforcement agencies will make up a new joint task force to crack down on wide-scale money laundering across Australia's financial and property markets.

Police believe billions of dollars are laundered in Australia every year - used to bankroll lavish lifestyles and fund further criminal activity.

The Australian Federal Police, Border Force, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will target perpetrators both in Australia and overseas.

Sleepless nights

Australians are losing sleep over the cost-of-living crisis, with one in three blaming financial pressure for their declining quality of rest.

That was the finding from ResMed's global sleep survey, which also revealed 42 per cent of Australians usually woke up feeling tired - the second-highest proportion among a dozen countries.

More than 50 per cent of Australians reported stress had affected their sleep since COVID-19, and only one in 10 woke up feeling refreshed.

The average Australian also has 6.9 hours of sleep each night, which is below the recommended period of between seven and nine hours, the survey found.

Boosting pay packets

Ways to bolster the pay packets of Australians while dealing with climate change, the digital revolution and global tensions will be outlined in a major new report.

The Productivity Commission's 1000-page inquiry, to be released in full on Friday, will contain 71 suggestions to kickstart Australia's sluggish productivity performance that's weighing on personal incomes and overall prosperity.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said there were no easy wins in the report.

"All are complex and none will respond to quick-fix, easy-win, whack-a-mole policy making," Chalmers told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event in Brisbane.

Costly thirst quencher

Australia has the most expensive bottled water on the planet but that hasn't curbed consumer thirst for something people can basically get free.

On average, Australians each spent about $580, buying 504 litres of bottled water in 2021, a new United Nations report revealed.

It's the world's second-highest consumption rate, per capita, behind Singapore.

Australians are also paying vastly more than anyone else.

The report says bottled water costs an average of about $5.40 per unit in Australia - almost double what it does in North America and Europe, and about four times what is charged in Asia and Africa.

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