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Australia

More 50bp hikes coming

We agree with RBA governor Phillip Lowe that market pricing for the Cash rate looks too aggressive. But we also think the consensus is still too dovish. After all, Governor Lowe is starting to grow concerned that wage growth will be too strong to allow the Bank to meet its target. And the RBA is still lagging behind a number of its peers in its hiking cycle. We therefore expect the RBA to hike rates to a peak of 3.1%, higher than the analyst consensus of a peak of 2.60%.

24 June 2022

Inflationary pressures keep building

The big minimum wage hike announced by the fair work commission this week will lead to higher wage growth over the coming year. Given the tightness in the labour market and rising cost pressures, businesses will be forced to pass that rise onto consumers. That suggests the risks to our forecast that inflation will peak just above 7% in Q3, are tilted to the upside. World with Higher Rates - Drop-In (21st June, 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): Does monetary policy tightening automatically mean recession? Are EMs vulnerable? How will financial market returns be affected? Join our special 20-minute briefing to find out what higher rates mean for macro and markets. Register now  

17 June 2022

Australia Labour Market (May 2022)

The strong rise in employment in May will keep pressure on the RBA to continue its aggressive hiking cycle in the months ahead. World with Higher Rates - Drop-In (21st June, 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): Does monetary policy tightening automatically mean recession? Are EMs vulnerable? How will financial market returns be affected? Join our special 20-minute briefing to find out what higher rates mean for macro and markets. Register now  

16 June 2022
More Publications

Minimum wage rise will keep RBA hiking aggressively

The 5.2% increase in the minimum wage announced by the Fair Work Commission will directly lift the Wage Price Index by around 0.7%-pt. But the increase will also contribute to upward pressure on wage growth and inflation more generally. On that basis, the RBA will need to continue hiking rates aggressively this year.

RBA could raise rates even faster than we anticipate

We’ve long been arguing that the RBA will lift rates more sharply than most analysts anticipate and the RBA’s surprise 50bp rate hike this week is consistent with our view that rates will reach 3% by early-2023. We’ve pencilled in additional 50bp hikes in July and August, but with inflation set to accelerate further, consumption growth still very strong and the labour market remaining very tight, the risk is clearly that the Bank will continue to hike aggressively for even longer.

Steeper interest rate hikes and larger house price falls

Hawkish shifts by the RBA and the RBNZ in recent weeks have prompted us to forecast an even more aggressive hiking cycle by both central banks in the months ahead. Both central banks hiked rates by 50bp at their latest meeting and we have now pencilled in further 50bp rate hikes in the months ahead. At the same time, house prices have started falling in both countries. House prices are down more than 5% from their November peak in New Zealand. And while prices only just fell in Australia in May, all signs point to the downturn persisting. While we had already expected prices in both countries to decline, the steeper rate hikes we now anticipate will feed through to higher mortgage rates and higher debt repayments. That will weigh heavily on the housing market before long. We have therefore raised our forecast of the peak to trough decline in house prices to 15% in Australia and 20% in New Zealand. And those downturns should cause similar-sized falls in dwellings investment in each country in the years ahead.

Housing downturn will prompt RBA rate cuts in 2023

With the RBA set to hike the cash rate to 3% by early-2023, we now expect house prices to fall by 15% from their April peak. While the economy has considerable momentum from reopening in the near-term, plunging house prices will weigh on consumer spending and dwellings investment and force the RBA to cut interest rates in late-2023.

Australia - Rates to rise to 3% by early-2023

The 50bp hike in the cash rate today is consistent with our view that interest rates will peak at higher levels than most anticipate and we’re expecting additional 50bp hikes in July and August.

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