The strength of the Australian dollar has been a sore point for many companies and freelancers in the country over the past few months, with the currency going well beyond parity and hitting as high as US$1.10.
While television news anchors report on news of the strong dollar with a smile on their face, the reality is that it hits hard, taking big chunks of income from our large base of freelancers operating with clients abroad and large companies alike.
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But importing retailers haven’t been passing on the significant savings they’re enjoying, and are instead sitting on higher profit margins than they’ve ever enjoyed before. In keeping with pre-parity history, Choice reports that Xbox and Playstation games still cost 91% more in Australia (Rockstar Games’ recent release, L.A. Noire, goes for about $110, or US$117), and albums on the Australian iTunes Store cost 73% more than their US counterparts.
Choice has also made a submission to the Productivity Commission, which is investigating this disparity in the retail sector, which can be viewed here (PDF).