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15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Retail: The numbers that could reward the RBA’s optimism

(15 February 2020, AFR, p1, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Upbeat company profit results, better readings from consumers and another record sharemarket high are backing the Reserve Bank’s optimistic view on the economy in the face of the threat from coronavirus and bushfires. Investors are feeling optimistic after the first big week of the interim profit season … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Economy had more momentum – Economists see end of RBA’s rate cut cycle

(7 February 2020, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston, Sarah Turner and Sue Mitchell) ‘Surprising strong consumer spending in the final three months of 2019 has triggered investors to upgrade retail stocks and abandon calls for another interest rate cut this year. The stronger than expected growth in retail trade in the December quarter supports Reserve Bank … Continue reading

5 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Rinse, repeat: The RBA must ditch its permanently Panglossian view

(5 February 2020, The Age, p31, David Scutt) ‘The RBA has put its rose-tinted glasses back on, having temporarily removed them late last year, predicting a Goldilocks outcome of stronger economic growth, lower unemployment and a continuation of low inflation in the period ahead. The bank said in its policy announcement today it expects economic … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Inflation rises 0.7pc, ending rate cut chances

(30 January 2020, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Higher than expected headline inflation has all but removed the chance of a 0.25 percentage point rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia next week and given the central bank more breathing room to assess the gentle turning point in the economy. Headline inflation rose … Continue reading

21 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – RBA told to ‘mobilise all forces’ to save the economy from climate change

(21 January 2020, The Age, p1, By Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw) ‘The Reserve Bank has been warned it may have to buy up coal mines and fossil-fuel power stations as part of extraordinary actions to save the economy from climate change-induced financial disaster. As Australian business leaders grow increasingly worried climate change will hit … Continue reading

11 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Pressure on RBA eases following retail, sharemarket highs

(11 January 2020, AFR, p3, Matthew Cranston and Nick Lenaghan) ‘The chances of the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting interest rates to a record low of 0.5 per cent next month have eased, following the strongest retail sales figures for two years, a surge in house prices and record highs in the sharemarket. With two … Continue reading

9 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Private sector jobs bounce back after two quarters in reverse

(9 January 2020, AFR, p3, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Improved job vacancies that indicate businesses are taking the risk of hiring more people will not be enough to prevent the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting interest rates again next month, economists say. Job vacancies increased by 1.6 per cent in the November quarter in seasonally … Continue reading

20 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Jobs surge slashes RBA rate cut bets

(20 December 2019, AFR, p2, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘A sharp surge in jobs in November has triggered a plunge in expectations for a rate cut in February. The job figures supported the Reserve Bank of Australia’s view of a “gentle turning point” in the economy and eased pressure on the government to do more fiscal … Continue reading

11 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Retail: Spending spree still likely: RBA’s Lowe

(11 December 2019, AFR, p10, Matthew Cranston and James Eyers) ‘Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has held out hope of a bounceback in consumption, saying on Tuesday that while he was surprised at disappointing spending figures he still expected interest rate cuts will eventually boost them. Household consumption was a very weak 0.1 … Continue reading

4 Dec 2019 (AFR) – RBA keeps rates on hold at 0.75pc

(4 December 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘The Reserve Bank says the “upswing in house prices”, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne should support growth and increased spending by consumers. The Reserve Bank has kept official interest rates on hold at 0.75 per cent arguing that more time is needed to see the effects … Continue reading

4 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Construction the drag on productivity

(4 December 2019, AFR, p6, David Marin-Guzman and Matthew Cranston) ‘A serious downturn in productivity in the construction sector may make it harder for one of the country’s biggest unions to sustain claims for 5 per cent annual wage increases. Labour productivity has turned negative for the first time in 25 years and an analysis … Continue reading

28 Nov 2019 (TheAge) – The bar for RBA QE appears pretty low given its forecasting record

(28 November 2019, The Age, Business, p27) ‘RBA governor Philip Lowe believes a pickup in Australian economic growth is just around the corner, forecasting GDP will increase by 3 per cent next year. “This pick-up in growth should see a reduction in the unemployment rate and a lift in inflation,” Dr Lowe said during a … Continue reading

27 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Wage growth expectations lowest in 20 years

(27 November 2019, AFR, p10, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Never before have there been so few firms expecting to give pay rises to workers, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, making it more difficult for the central bank to get inflation back into its target range.  Low wage growth has “become the new norm” … Continue reading

20 Nov 2019 (TheAge) – Record household debt as RBA knuckles down to further rate cuts

(20 November 2019, The Age, p4, By Shane Wright) ‘Australian household debt has reached a record high level as low wage growth fails to keep up with a resurgent property market amid signs the Reserve Bank will start next year with another interest rate cut to boost the economy. As a weekly measure of consumer … Continue reading

6 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Beleaguered bankers get a reprieve on rate cuts… for now

(6 November 2019, AFR, p31, Karen Maley) ‘After a dismal week of watching their share prices tumble, lenders felt a wave of relief when Philip Lowe held rates steady. The bosses of the country’s major banks will be sending their heartfelt thanks to Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe for his decision to hold official interest … Continue reading

6 Nov 2019 (AFR) – RBA target a ‘medium term’ goal

(6 November 2019, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston and Robert Guy) ‘ Expectations for another interest rate cut have slipped following an upbeat assessment of the economic outlook by the Reserve Bank. , which kept its cash rate on hold at 0.75 per cent and signalled that a return to higher inflation could be achieved over … Continue reading

4 Nov 2019 (AFR) – No Melbourne Cup rate cut with good retail sales expected

(4 November 2019, AFR, p10, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Better than expected retail trade figures released on Monday will further diminish chances of an interest rate cut over the next six months and build upon the Reserve Bank’s shift away from monetary policy easing, economists say.’ <snipped…> ‘The Australian National University’s so-called RBA Shadow Board … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (AFR) – CPI cools further RBA rate cut chances

(31 October 2019, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘The likelihood of further interest rate cuts this year has evaporated after key figures showed annual inflation grew 1.7 per cent and could be heading back to where it needs to be for better economic growth. ‘ ‘The likelihood of further interest rate cuts by the … Continue reading

18 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Jobless rate dips to 5.2pc

(18 October 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘A lower unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent in September has slashed the chances of a back-to back interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank in November and pushed the Australian dollar back close to US68¢. The economy added 14,700 new jobs last month after … Continue reading

18 Oct 2019 (AFR) – RBA tips housing supply shortfall

(18 October 2019, AFR, p4, Matthew Cranston) ‘Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle said a shortfall in housing supply was “quite likely” in the foreseeable future and that would trigger a “larger price response” in property values. Dr Debelle said demand for housing would continue to grow and 2020 could be the year construction bottoms … Continue reading

11 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Property investors roar back

(11 October 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby and Matthew Cranston) ‘Investor home loans grew at their fastest pace in almost three years and first-home buyers roared into action in August, adding weight to the Reserve Bank’s view that interest rate cuts are creating a “gentle turning point” in the economy. Rising prices and easier borrowing … Continue reading

9 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Business conditions lift: NAB

(9 October 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘The gentle turning point in the economy observed by the Reserve Bank of Australia last week is starting to show up in improved business conditions due to an uptick in trading, profitability, forward orders and employment intentions. The latest NAB Business survey shows that the weakening … Continue reading

8 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Shaking consumers out of their inertia is proving difficult to overcome

(8 October 2019, The Age, p24, Elizabeth Knight) ‘Another month, another set of underwhelming retail sales numbers. This should be setting off alarm bells for the Reserve Bank which was hoping the estimated $16.6 billion stimulus provided by two sets of tax cuts and now three interest rate cuts would provide a big boost to … Continue reading

3 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Trump’s misguided trade wars forced the RBA’s hand

(3 October 2019, The Age, Business, p23, By Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘A spate of dismal economic data offshore overnight provides the context for the Reserve Bank’s decision on Tuesday to cut the cash rate below 1 per cent and express its preparedness to ease monetary policy further. RBA governor Philip Lowe made it clear that the … Continue reading

2 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Bubble fears are back: Property prices threatening to get out of control

(2 October 2019, The Age, Business, p23, Elizabeth Knight) ‘The government, regulators, the Reserve Bank were all hoping for an orderly upturn in house pricing. But the price gains recorded in September suggest the bounce is proving to be anything but orderly – prices are threatening to spin out of control. Fear of missing out … Continue reading

2 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Big banks hold back on rate cuts as RBA worries grow

(2 October 2019, The Age, p1, By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright) ‘The big four banks have baulked at quickly passing on an official interest rate cut to consumers in full, defying the Reserve Bank and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as the central bank attempts to pump more money into the economy. The RBA took the … Continue reading

2 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Rate cut ignites afternoon ASX rally

(2 October 2019, AFR, p30, Lucas Baird, Reporter) ‘The Australian stockmarket enjoyed a strong afternoon rally after interest rates were cut to a historic low of 0.75 per cent, with shares in the big four banks brushing off concerns about mounting pressure on bank sector profit margins. The S&P/ASX 200 Index surged about 50 points … Continue reading

1 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Rate cuts not helping record low housing credit

(1 October 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Credit growth for housing has recorded its lowest annual growth since records were first kept in 1977, raising concerns that people are not taking advantage of consecutive interest rate cuts. Housing credit growth dipped to 3.1 per cent according to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest … Continue reading

30 Sept 2019 (AFR) – interest rates: RBA to slash cash rate to 0.5 per cent; fiscal calls mount

(30 September 2019, AFR, p1, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia will slash the cash rate twice more by June 2020, with the first cut coming as soon as tomorrow, as market economists warn that interest rates are losing their power to rescue growth. The economists are pushing for the federal government to … Continue reading

20 Sept 2019 (TheAge) – Rate cut on cards to boost economy even as budget strengthens

(20 September 2019, The Age, p5, By Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw) ‘Interest rates could be cut to 0.75 per cent within a fortnight as unemployment ticks up and the economy struggles to shake itself out of its rut, despite the Morrison government delivering the best budget bottom line in a decade. Commonwealth Bank, JP … Continue reading