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Surge in inflation will prompt first rate hike in August

The rapid tightening of the labour market coupled with the acceleration in underlying inflation will prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia to end its asset purchases at its meeting on Tuesday 1st February. And we now expect the Bank to hike rates to 1.25% by end-2023, with the first hike coming in August. Drop-In (08:00 GMT, 26th Jan): Will the RBA follow the Fed this year? Economists from our Australia and Markets services will talk through the likely path of RBA policy making in 2022 and the implications for Australian bond and currency markets. Register here.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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Japan Flash PMIs (Jan. 2022)

The January flash PMI suggests that the manufacturing sector continues to expand at a rapid pace, but there are mounting signs that firms are passing on higher input costs to consumers. By contrast, activity in the services sector has slumped.

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RBNZ will ease even as RBA starts to tighten

Australia’s Omicron outbreak will hold back the recovery this quarter, but there are plenty of reasons why Australia will outperform New Zealand over the next couple of years. As the labour market has tightened more rapidly than we had anticipated, we’ve brought forward our forecast for the first RBA rate hike from February 2023 to November 2022. By contrast, we expect New Zealand’s housing market to come off the boil this year which should prompt the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to end its hiking cycle at 2.0% this year and start cutting interest rates in 2023. Our views on monetary policy are more dovish than what’s priced into financial markets so we expect 10-year government yields to be little changed. What’s more, we expect the New Zealand dollar to weaken against the Australian dollar.

20 January 2022
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