RBA starting to sound a little more dovish: Shane Oliver

RBA starting to sound a little more dovish: Shane Oliver
RBA starting to sound a little more dovish: Shane Oliver

EXPERT OBSERVATION 

This month’s RBA Board meeting saw interest rates remain on hold for the 29th meeting (or 32nd month) in a row. No surprise there.

But while the RBA’s post meeting statement was little changed in relation to global conditions, the strong labour market and the housing “adjustment”, it did sound a little bit more dovish in two areas.

First in its acknowledgement of weak December quarter GDP growth and consumer spending.

And second in adding at the very end of its statement that it “will continue to monitor developments”.

Of course it would be dangerous to read too much into this but maybe the RBA’s neutral bias on rates is getting a bit less neutral in the direction of easing.

Our view remains that the RBA is underestimating the impact of the housing downturn on the economy – particularly in terms of its impact on consumer spending – and as a consequence we still see weaker growth and lower inflation than the RBA is forecasting.

As a result, our view remains that the RBA will cut the cash rate to 1% by year end.

At this stage it makes sense for the RBA to see what the Budget and the election bring in terms of fiscal stimulus, but our base case is that the first cut will come around June but with the RBA moving to an easing bias at its May meeting.

SHANE OLIVER is the Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist at AMP Capital

Tags: 
Interest Rates Rba Rate Decision

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