Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Australia Keeps Rates On Hold

RBI To Keep Key Policy Rates Unchanged Say Economists Government has deviated from fiscal consolidation path outlined earlier said Tushar Arora HDFC Bank
Nellie Chapman | 06 February, 2018, 16:15

February interest rate decision will be released later today.

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will vote on the rate on so-called Super Thursday, when the bank will also release its quarterly inflation report and release the minutes from the MPC's last meeting. "70 loans have moved down in the past two months".

December's retail sales data follows a disappointing fourth-quarter inflation report that left both core and headline measures of the consumer price index at 1.9%, when they had been expected to tick higher by a touch.

The rate has remained at this record low since August 2016.

RBA's decision had little impact on the Aussie, while financial markets see no significant chance of a rate hike until the second half of the year.

We may be about to find out.

The market appears to have become less optimistic in its outlook for Australian interest rates since Tuesday's monetary policy statement.

Cash rates in Australia have now been steady for 1-1/2 years, the longest spell of stable rates since the mid-1990s.

"A gradual pick-up in inflation is, however, expected as the economy strengthens".

Since that date, the AUD has rallied by 3.6% against the USA dollar, and by a smaller 0.6% in trade-weighted terms. However, it indicated that it expects inflation pressures to heat up as the year moves on. The central forecast is for CPI inflation to be a bit above 2 per cent in 2018.

While soft, annual growth in underlying inflation, at 1.9%, was above the RBA's year-end forecast for 1.75%.

He said Britain's ability to secure a deal with the European Union will determine the UK's ability to grow, as well as the strength of the pound, trade and inflation - and therefore the path of rates.

In a recent survey of brokers, HashChing found that more than 93% believed the rate would remain on hold.

If there is to be a change in the bank's commentary on the Australian economy, it could come from its assessment on household spending.

However, doubts still linger over the outlook for household spending, with household income having a sluggish growth and high debt levels.

Australia has seen nearly $60billion wiped off the stock market, as the trickle-down effect from a two-day United States rout continues.

'There was a combination of things - the triggers have been worries about rising inflation, a more aggressive US Federal Reserve and higher bond yields, ' he said. It will likely repeat that "wage growth remains low" and the view that "stronger conditions in the labour market should see some lift in wage growth over time". It comes as housing markets, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, continue to cool.

"The Chinese economy continues to grow solidly, with the authorities paying increased attention to the risks in the financial sector and the sustainability of growth".

The Central bank had reduced the benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent in August, bringing it to a 6-year low.

Any change to this outlook would be seen as a major surprise, and would nearly certainly lead to speculation that the RBA may be prepping markets for an earlier-than-expected rate increase.

On Friday, RBA Governor Lowe is scheduled to speak and the RBA will release its Monetary Policy Statement.

Business Insider will have all of the details as soon as it hits the screens.