Tuesday, October 4, 2022

2.60% the new cash rate as RBA increases 0.25% in October

 At its meeting today, the Board decided to increase the cash rate target by 25 basis points to 2.60 per cent. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances by 25 basis points to 2.50 per cent.

The Board is committed to returning inflation to the 2–3 per cent range over time. Today’s increase in interest rates will help achieve this goal and further increases are likely to be required over the period ahead. The cash rate has been increased substantially in a short period of time. Reflecting this, the Board decided to increase the cash rate by 25 basis points this month as it assesses the outlook for inflation and economic growth in Australia.

As is the case in most countries, inflation in Australia is too high. Global factors explain much of this high inflation, but strong domestic demand relative to the ability of the economy to meet that demand is also playing a role.

A further increase in inflation is expected over the months ahead, before inflation then declines back towards the 2–3 per cent range. The expected moderation in inflation next year reflects the ongoing resolution of global supply-side problems, recent declines in some commodity prices and the impact of rising interest rates. Medium-term inflation expectations remain well anchored, and it is important that this remains the case. The Bank’s central forecast is for CPI inflation to be around 7¾ per cent over 2022, a little above 4 per cent over 2023 and around 3 per cent over 2024.

The Australian economy is continuing to grow solidly and national income is being boosted by a record level of the terms of trade. The labour market is very tight and many firms are having difficulty hiring workers. The unemployment rate in August was 3.5 per cent, around the lowest rate in almost 50 years. Job vacancies and job ads are both at very high levels, suggesting a further decline in the unemployment rate over the months ahead. Beyond that, some increase in the unemployment rate is expected as economic growth slows.

Wages growth is continuing to pick up from the low rates of recent years, although it remains lower than in other advanced economies where inflation is higher. Given the tight labour market and the upstream price pressures, the Board will continue to pay close attention to both the evolution of labour costs and the price-setting behaviour of firms in the period ahead.

Price stability is a prerequisite for a strong economy and a sustained period of full employment. Given this, the Board’s priority is to return inflation to the 2–3 per cent range over time. It is seeking to do this while keeping the economy on an even keel. The path to achieving this balance is a narrow one and it is clouded in uncertainty.

One source of uncertainty is the outlook for the global economy, which has deteriorated recently. Another is how household spending in Australia responds to the tighter financial conditions. Higher inflation and higher interest rates are putting pressure on household budgets, with the full effects of higher interest rates yet to be felt in mortgage payments. Consumer confidence has also fallen and housing prices are declining after the earlier large increases. Working in the other direction, people are finding jobs, gaining more hours of work and receiving higher wages. Many households have also built up large financial buffers and the saving rate still remains higher than it was before the pandemic.

Today’s further increase in interest rates will help achieve a more sustainable balance of demand and supply in the Australian economy. This is necessary to bring inflation back down. The Board expects to increase interest rates further over the period ahead. It is closely monitoring the global economy, household spending and wage and price-setting behaviour. The size and timing of future interest rate increases will continue to be determined by the incoming data and the Board’s assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market. The Board remains resolute in its determination to return inflation to target and will do what is necessary to achieve that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Which Bank Will Move First Following the RBA Interest Rate Hike?

When the RBA announces a rate hike, the attention immediately turns to the banks to see who will move first to increase their rates. For home owners, they want to see how much more they will need to pay each month in repayments while savers look to see how much more the bank is going to pay them. To help savers find the best rate, there is one useful resource that allows you to compare the banks movements by checking this Google document which is updated by an army of volunteers to show you what rates each bank is offering. 

Currently, only UBANK has increased their savings rate from 1st October to 3.35%

2.35% Cash Rate as RBA ups rates by 50 basis points

 Today, the RBA continued the move upwards for interest rates declaring a 50 basis point increase to the cash rate. Here is their announcement in full - 

At its meeting today, the Board decided to increase the cash rate target by 50 basis points to 2.35 per cent. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances by 50 basis points to 2.25 per cent.

The Board is committed to returning inflation to the 2–3 per cent range over time. It is seeking to do this while keeping the economy on an even keel. The path to achieving this balance is a narrow one and clouded in uncertainty, not least because of global developments. The outlook for global economic growth has deteriorated due to pressures on real incomes from high inflation, the tightening of monetary policy in most countries, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the COVID containment measures and other policy challenges in China.

Inflation in Australia is the highest it has been since the early 1990s and is expected to increase further over the months ahead. Global factors explain much of the increase in inflation, but domestic factors are also playing a role. There are widespread upward pressures on prices from strong demand, a tight labour market and capacity constraints in some sectors of the economy.

Inflation is expected to peak later this year and then decline back towards the 2–3 per cent range. The expected moderation in inflation reflects the ongoing resolution of global supply-side problems, recent declines in some commodity prices and the impact of rising interest rates. Medium-term inflation expectations remain well anchored, and it is important that this remains the case. The Bank's central forecast is for CPI inflation to be around 7¾ per cent over 2022, a little above 4 per cent over 2023 and around 3 per cent over 2024.

The Australian economy is continuing to grow solidly and national income is being boosted by a record level of the terms of trade. The labour market is very tight and many firms are having difficulty hiring workers. The unemployment rate declined further in July to 3.4 per cent, the lowest rate in almost 50 years. Job vacancies and job ads are both at very high levels, suggesting a further decline in the unemployment rate over the months ahead. Beyond that, some increase in the unemployment rate is expected as economic growth slows.

Wages growth has picked up from the low rates of recent years and there are some pockets where labour costs are increasing briskly. Given the tight labour market and the upstream price pressures, the Board will continue to pay close attention to both the evolution of labour costs and the price-setting behaviour of firms in the period ahead.

An important source of uncertainty continues to be the behaviour of household spending. Higher inflation and higher interest rates are putting pressure on household budgets, with the full effects of higher interest rates yet to be felt in mortgage payments. Consumer confidence has also fallen and housing prices are declining in most markets after the earlier large increases. Working in the other direction, people are finding jobs, gaining more hours of work and receiving higher wages. Many households have also built up large financial buffers and the saving rate remains higher than it was before the pandemic. The Board will be paying close attention to how these various factors balance out as it assesses the appropriate setting of monetary policy.

The further increase in interest rates today will help bring inflation back to target and create a more sustainable balance of demand and supply in the Australian economy. Price stability is a prerequisite for a strong economy and a sustained period of full employment. The Board expects to increase interest rates further over the months ahead, but it is not on a pre-set path. The size and timing of future interest rate increases will be guided by the incoming data and the Board's assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market. The Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Cash rate up again 0.50% to 1.85%

The cash rate has increased again sending the markets up because it was as expected. Here is the RBA statement in full - 


At its meeting today, the Board decided to increase the cash rate target by 50 basis points to 1.85 per cent. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances by 50 basis points to 1.75 per cent.

The Board places a high priority on the return of inflation to the 2–3 per cent range over time, while keeping the economy on an even keel. The path to achieve this balance is a narrow one and clouded in uncertainty, not least because of global developments. The outlook for global economic growth has been downgraded due to pressures on real incomes from higher inflation, the tightening of monetary policy in most countries, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the COVID containment measures in China.

Inflation in Australia is the highest it has been since the early 1990s. In headline terms, inflation was 6.1 per cent over the year to the June quarter; in underlying terms it was 4.9 per cent. Global factors explain much of the increase in inflation, but domestic factors are also playing a role. There are widespread upward pressures on prices from strong demand, a tight labour market and capacity constraints in some sectors of the economy. The floods this year are also affecting some prices.

Inflation is expected to peak later this year and then decline back towards the 2–3 per cent range. The expected moderation in inflation reflects the ongoing resolution of global supply-side problems, the stabilisation of commodity prices and the impact of rising interest rates. Medium-term inflation expectations remain well anchored, and it is important that this remains the case. The Bank's central forecast is for CPI inflation to be around 7¾ per cent over 2022, a little above 4 per cent over 2023 and around 3 per cent over 2024.

The Australian economy is expected to continue to grow strongly this year, with the pace of growth then slowing. Employment is growing strongly, consumer spending has been resilient and an upswing in business investment is underway. National income is also being boosted by a rise in the terms of trade, which are at a record high. The Bank's central forecast is for GDP growth of 3¼ per cent over 2022 and 1¾ per cent in each of the following two years.

The labour market remains tighter than it has been for many years. The unemployment rate declined further in June to 3.5 per cent, the lowest rate in almost 50 years. Job vacancies and job ads are both at very high levels and a further decline in unemployment is expected over the months ahead. Beyond that, some increase in unemployment is expected as economic growth slows. The Bank's central forecast is for the unemployment rate to be around 4 per cent at the end of 2024. Our liaison program and business surveys continue to point to a lift in wages growth from the low rates of recent years as firms compete for staff in the tight labour market.

A key source of uncertainty continues to be the behaviour of household spending. Higher inflation and higher interest rates are putting pressure on household budgets. Consumer confidence has also fallen and housing prices are declining in some markets after the large increases in recent years. Working in the other direction, people are finding jobs and obtaining more hours of work. Many households have also built up large financial buffers and the saving rate remains higher than it was before the pandemic. The Board will be paying close attention to how these various factors balance out as it assesses the appropriate setting of monetary policy.

Today's increase in interest rates is a further step in the normalisation of monetary conditions in Australia. The increase in interest rates over recent months has been required to bring inflation back to target and to create a more sustainable balance of demand and supply in the Australian economy. The Board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions over the months ahead, but it is not on a pre-set path. The size and timing of future interest rate increases will be guided by the incoming data and the Board's assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market. The Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Sydney Real Estate slowdown worst since 1989

The interest rate increase has started to hit the most leveraged real estate market in the country with Sydney recording a reversal in their market by 1.5% since January. With the average Sydney home loan at $786k, the two rate hikes in the last two months amounts to an increase in repayments of almost $500 / month! According to this article, other markets like Perth follow Sydney's lead in 12-18 months time. Read more here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Huge increase in cash rate by RBA - up 0.50%

The RBA has increased the cash rate for Australia by 0.50% which is a massive hike as a result of inflation which has been increasing significantly recently. This is the largest increase of the cash rate in the last 22 years and only the second time that rates have increased over the last 11. The official cash rate now sits at 0.85%. They were expecting inflation to continue to rise in the coming year and has moved to signal the economy to slow down. The impact on the real estate market will be significant - watch for changes in buyer behaviour in auctions this coming weekend. Here is their full release below -  


At its meeting today, the Board decided to increase the cash rate target by 50 basis points to 85 basis points. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances by 50 basis points to 75 basis points.

Inflation in Australia has increased significantly. While inflation is lower than in most other advanced economies, it is higher than earlier expected. Global factors, including COVID-related disruptions to supply chains and the war in Ukraine, account for much of this increase in inflation. But domestic factors are playing a role too, with capacity constraints in some sectors and the tight labour market contributing to the upward pressure on prices. The floods earlier this year have also affected some prices.

Inflation is expected to increase further, but then decline back towards the 2–3 per cent range next year. Higher prices for electricity and gas and recent increases in petrol prices mean that, in the near term, inflation is likely to be higher than was expected a month ago. As the global supply-side problems are resolved and commodity prices stabilise, even if at a high level, inflation is expected to moderate. Today's increase in interest rates will assist with the return of inflation to target over time.

The Australian economy is resilient, growing by 0.8 per cent in the March quarter and 3.3 per cent over the year. Household and business balance sheets are generally in good shape, an upswing in business investment is underway and there is a large pipeline of construction work to be completed. Macroeconomic policy settings are supportive of growth and national income is being boosted by higher commodity prices. The terms of trade are at a record high.

The labour market is also strong. Employment has grown significantly and the unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent, which is the lowest rate in almost 50 years. Job vacancies and job ads are at high levels and a further decline in unemployment and underemployment is expected. The Bank's business liaison program continues to point to a lift in wages growth from the low rates of recent years as firms compete for staff in a tight labour market.

One source of uncertainty about the economic outlook is how household spending evolves, given the increasing pressure on Australian households' budgets from higher inflation. Interest rates are also increasing. Housing prices have declined in some markets over recent months but remain more than 25 per cent higher than prior to the pandemic, supporting household wealth and spending. The household saving rate also remains higher than it was before the pandemic and many households have built up large financial buffers. While the central scenario is for strong household consumption growth this year, the Board will be paying close attention to these various influences on consumption as it assesses the appropriate setting of monetary policy.

The Board will also be paying close attention to the global outlook, which remains clouded by the war in Ukraine and its effect on the prices for energy and agricultural commodities. Real household incomes are under pressure in many economies and financial conditions are tightening, as central banks withdraw monetary policy support in response to broad-based inflation. There are also ongoing uncertainties related to COVID, especially in China.

Today's increase in interest rates by the Board is a further step in the withdrawal of the extraordinary monetary support that was put in place to help the Australian economy during the pandemic. The resilience of the economy and the higher inflation mean that this extraordinary support is no longer needed. Given the current inflation pressures in the economy, and the still very low level of interest rates, the Board decided to move by 50 basis points today. The Board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions in Australia over the months ahead. The size and timing of future interest rate increases will be guided by the incoming data and the Board's assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market. The Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Australia's RBA increases rates 0.25% - first time in 12 years

Today the RBA has increased the cash rate for Australia by 0.25% which is the first time in twelve years that the rates have increased. Here is their official statement - 

At its meeting today, the Board decided to increase the cash rate target by 25 basis points to 35 basis points. It also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances from zero per cent to 25 basis points.

The Board judged that now was the right time to begin withdrawing some of the extraordinary monetary support that was put in place to help the Australian economy during the pandemic. The economy has proven to be resilient and inflation has picked up more quickly, and to a higher level, than was expected. There is also evidence that wages growth is picking up. Given this, and the very low level of interest rates, it is appropriate to start the process of normalising monetary conditions.

The resilience of the Australian economy is particularly evident in the labour market, with the unemployment rate declining over recent months to 4 per cent and labour force participation increasing to a record high. Both job vacancies and job ads are also at high levels. The central forecast is for the unemployment rate to decline to around 3½ per cent by early 2023 and remain around this level thereafter. This would be the lowest rate of unemployment in almost 50 years.

The outlook for economic growth in Australia also remains positive, although there are ongoing uncertainties about the global economy arising from: the ongoing disruptions from COVID-19, especially in China; the war in Ukraine; and declining consumer purchasing power from higher inflation. The central forecast is for Australian GDP to grow by 4¼ per cent over 2022 and 2 per cent over 2023. Household and business balance sheets are generally in good shape, an upswing in business investment is underway and there is a large pipeline of construction work to be completed. Macroeconomic policy settings remain supportive of growth and national income is being boosted by higher commodity prices.

Inflation has picked up significantly and by more than expected, although it remains lower than in most other advanced economies. Over the year to the March quarter, headline inflation was 5.1 per cent and in underlying terms inflation was 3.7 per cent. This rise in inflation largely reflects global factors. But domestic capacity constraints are increasingly playing a role and inflation pressures have broadened, with firms more prepared to pass through cost increases to consumer prices. A further rise in inflation is expected in the near term, but as supply-side disruptions are resolved, inflation is expected to decline back towards the target range of 2 to 3 per cent. The central forecast for 2022 is for headline inflation of around 6 per cent and underlying inflation of around 4¾ per cent; by mid 2024, headline and underlying inflation are forecast to have moderated to around 3 per cent. These forecasts are based on an assumption of further increases in interest rates.

The Bank's business liaison suggests that wages growth has been picking up. In a tight labour market, an increasing number of firms are paying higher wages to attract and retain staff, especially in an environment where the cost of living is rising. While aggregate wages growth was subdued during 2021 and no higher than it was prior to the pandemic, the more timely evidence from liaison and business surveys is that larger wage increases are now occurring in many private-sector firms.

Given both the progress towards full employment and the evidence on prices and wages, some withdrawal of the extraordinary monetary support provided through the pandemic is appropriate. Consistent with this, the Board does not plan to reinvest the proceeds of maturing government bonds and expects the Bank's balance sheet to decline significantly over the next couple of years as the Term Funding Facility comes to an end. The Board is not currently planning to sell the government bonds that the Bank purchased during the pandemic.

The Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time. This will require a further lift in interest rates over the period ahead. The Board will continue to closely monitor the incoming information and evolving balance of risks as it determines the timing and extent of future interest rate increases.

A media and markets briefing, including a question and answer session, will be held at 4pm AEST today with the audio broadcast live on www.rba.gov.au.

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