Cash rate on hold for two years

10 Août, 2018, 11:14 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Australian Dollar outlook

THE Reserve Bank has kept the official cash rate on hold for two years running at its August meeting, extending the longest ever streak without a change. "GDP growth is expected to average a bit above 3 percent in 2018 and 2019". Lowe amended his language on China's economy in the statement, shifting from continuing to grow solidly to saying growth "has slowed a little". The Australian dollar remains within the range that it has been in over the past two years.

The bank will have more on its forecasts in Friday's third Statement of Monetary policy for 2018 but the statement yesterday indicates that apart from inflation there won't be too much of a change.

The Australian Dollar edged cautiously higher as RBA's Governor Philip Lowespoke.

Equities were collectively higher in both Europe and North America, with the FTSE100 rallying 0.7 per cent, and the Dow Jones leading United States indices to climb 0.5 per cent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will need to see a period of moderation in the property market even though it does not target home prices as part of its policy mandate, Governor Philip Lowe said on Wednesday.

"Three-year fixed rates for investors have increased by 10 basis points and discounted variable rates are up 40 basis points for investment loans", he said.

Canstar finance expert Steve Mickenbecker said the increases due to higher wholesale funding costs had been about 0.1 per cent, but "what is noteworthy is that the changes flow through to existing customers, not just new borrowers".

Housing credit growth has declined to an annual rate of 5.5 per cent.

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"Consumer sentiment has a significant impact on the economy and while the latest Westpac Consumer Sentiment survey reported the most positive reading since November 2013, the overall level of sentiment is below the long-term average as consumers continue to feel pressure from sluggish wages, rising electricity and petrol prices and declining dwelling values".

'The central forecast is for inflation to be higher in 2019 and 2020 than it is now'.

With Australia the most China-dependent economy in the developed world and prospects of a trade war intensifying, the outlook could begin to alter.

Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low.

Lowe said the outlook for the labour market "remains positive" and predicted a further gradual decline in unemployment "over the next couple of years to around" 5%.

The RBA maintains its next move is more likely to be up than down; Lowe, since taking the helm in September 2016, has consistently said that an increase will only come once the economy is near full employment and inflation closer to the central bank's 2-3 percent target midpoint.

A combination of both domestic and global factors have helped the Australian Dollar to see slightly stronger demand this week so far, and the risky commodity-correlated currency has easily registered gains against the Pound, with the British Pound to Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate hitting its worst levels in over a month.

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