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Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

Border reopening won’t ease labour shortages much

Australia’s government isn’t keen on opening the immigration floodgates once the border reopens to migrants next year and we still expect the unemployment rate to fall to 4% by 2023. Nor do we expect migration to ease labour shortages in New Zealand much next year. Nonetheless, New Zealand’s labour market is already very tight and with the RBNZ set to keep tightening monetary policy, we expect unemployment to creep higher over the next couple of years.

26 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia - Retail Sales (Oct. 2021)

The 4.9% m/m jump in retail sales in October brought them very close to their May peak and supports our view that consumption will reverse nearly all of the plunge during the lockdown this quarter.

26 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Private Capex Survey (Q3 21)

Private capital expenditure dropped during the recent lockdowns but firms’ forecasts point to a strong rebound over the coming quarters.

25 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Update

RBNZ will hike rates to 2.0% next year

While the RBNZ only hiked rates by 25bps at today’s meeting, it is set to continue lifting rates next year. However, we think a slowdown in the economy will end the Bank’s hiking cycle with the OCR at 2.0%.

24 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Update

Australia - Rate hikes will result in housing downturn

High household debt will magnify the impact of interest rate hikes on the housing market and we now expect prices across the eight capital cities to fall by 5% from H2 2023. The upshot is that the RBA is unlikely to hike rates as sharply as the financial markets anticipate and may end up easing policy in 2024.

24 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

Wage growth and inflation to continue to strengthen

RBA Governor Phillip Lowe doubled down on the view wage growth will remain too low to justify a rate hike anytime soon. But wages for workers on individual agreements is soaring. And we think wage growth for other workers will begin to catch up next year. We therefore reiterate our view that wage growth will approach 3% by the end of next year and that the RBA will hike rates in 2023.

19 November 2021

RBNZ Watch

RBNZ to accelerate hiking cycle

The New Zealand economy is clearly overheating. Measures of underlying inflation are mostly above the ceiling of the RBNZ’s target band. And employment is now above the Bank’s estimate of the maximum sustainable level. We therefore expect the RBNZ to ramp up its hiking cycle with a 50bp hike at its meeting on 24th November. And we now expect the Bank to hike rates all the way to 2.0% by the middle of next year.

17 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

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.

17 November 2021

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

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