Australia & New Zealand
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Australia Wage Price Index (Q3)

The 0.6% q/q rise in the wage price index in Q3 will provide the RBA with some confidence that rates need to remain low in the near term. But we think that wage growth will rise over 2022, putting pressure on the Bank.
Ben Udy Australia and New Zealand Economist
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Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

Australia’s consumer exuberance won’t last

The strong rebound in consumer spending in November is consistent with our view that GDP surpassed its pre-lockdown peak in Q4 already. And while the Omicron tsunami seems to have resulted in a renewed slowdown in consumption, mounting staff shortages and disruptions to goods supply will result in continued strong increases in consumer prices. The upshot is that we still expect the RBA to end its bond purchases in three weeks, though the sluggishness in wage growth means we don’t expect the first rate hike until early next year.

14 January 2022

Australia & New Zealand Economics Focus

Housing downturn will lead to RBNZ rate cuts in 2023

While the strength in New Zealand’s economy will cause the RBNZ to hike rates further this year, we think the RBNZ will end its hiking cycle earlier than the financial markets anticipate. What’s more, we think a housing downturn in 2022 will weigh on the economy at the same time as inflation is easing and the labour market is loosening. On that basis we expect the RBNZ to cut rates in 2023. Drop-In: Neil Shearing will host an online panel of our senior economists to answer your questions and update on macro and markets this Thursday, 13th January (11:00 ET/16:00 GMT). Register for the latest on everything from Omicron to the Fed to our key calls for 2022. Registration here.

12 January 2022

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia - Retail Sales/External Trade (Nov. 2021)

November’s data support our view that GDP will surpass its pre-delta level in Q4. But while the strength in retail sales is set to fade in the months ahead as Omicron weighs on consumption, the likely drag from net trade to GDP growth in Q4 is also likely to reverse in Q1.

11 January 2022

More from Ben Udy

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

Inflation will keep the RBA under pressure

Business purchase costs in the October NAB survey rose to their strongest level since 2008, consistent with trimmed mean inflation of nearly 1.5% q/q. That probably overstates the strength in underlying inflation in the months ahead as other measure of inflation in the survey were more subdued. While we do expect strong price growth to keep pressure on the RBA to tighten monetary policy, our view that wage growth will only approach 3% by the end of next year underpins our view that the Bank will hike later and less aggressively than financial markets expect.  

12 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Labour Market (Oct.)

The rise in the unemployment rate suggests that the labour market continued to suffer right up until the end of the recent lockdowns. But given the ending of lockdowns in mid-October we expect the unemployment rate to fall again in the months ahead.

11 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

RBNZ set to hike by 50bp, RBA remains the archdove

The exceptional strength of New Zealand’s mean that we now think the RBNZ will hike rates by 50bps in November and by a further 100bps next year, which would take the OCR to 2.0%. That’s above the analyst consensus but less hawkish than market pricing as we still think falling house prices and higher debt servicing costs will weigh on consumption and dwellings investment next year. In Australia, the RBA’s persistently dovish stance has taken some of the wind out of financial markets’ sails. But we still believe that wage growth will pick up sooner than the Bank anticipates. That’s why we are sticking to our view that the RBA will first hike rates in early 2023, a year sooner than the Bank expects.

5 November 2021
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