Australia central bank needs to see period of housing market moderation: Lowe

Australian Dollar outlook

Reserve Bank governor says Australia's high immigration levels boosted economy

The bank will have more on its forecasts in Friday's third Statement of Monetary policy for 2018 but the statement yesterday indicates that apart from inflation there won't be too much of a change.

Turning to the short term, Lowe said he expected the unemployment rate to fall to 5% over the next few years, and possibly lower.

In the wake of today's mixed RBA meeting, Mr Lowe is likely to offer a cautious economic outlook, which would drag the Australian Dollar further down.

"With no cash rate movements for two years now, and funding requirements for the larger banks becoming more stringent, the pressure on lenders to increase home loan interest rates is real", he said.

Australia's high immigration levels have been a positive for the economy, helping to arrest the rate of the ageing of the population and ensure higher than average growth in recent years, the Reserve Bank governor says. "The central forecast is for inflation to be higher in 2019 and 2020 than it is now". The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the second quarter rose by an annualized rate of 2.1%.

The decision to leave rates unchanged was no surprise given money markets and market observers saw no chance of a move. It "suggested that interest rates won't rise for a while yet".

This could turn out to be either a source of support for, or weigh around the ankles of, the Australian Dollar.

Financial markets have steadily pushed out the likely timing of a move, with interbank futures implying around a 50-50 probability of a hike by August next year. An increase to the official cash rate could put further pressure on the nation's housing market.

Changes in interest rates, or hints of them being in the cards, are only made in response to movements in inflation but impact currencies because of the push and pull influence they have on global capital flows and their allure for short-term speculators.

'The labour market is gradually tightening and it is reasonable to expect that this will lead to a lift in both wages growth and inflation.

Housing credit growth has declined to an annual rate of 5.5 per cent. Australian unemployment held steady at 5.4% in June. This was lower than the expected 2.2%.

"The timing of any future change in interest rates is dependent upon the speed of the progress that is made in reducing the unemployment rate and having inflation return to around the midpoint of the target range on a sustained basis". If we were to make faster progress than we now expect, any future increase in interest rates is likely to be earlier. "Conversely, slower progress would likely see a longer period without an adjustment", Lowe says, Wednesday.

GBP/AUD Forecast: Political Developments and UK Data in Focus While some Australian ecostats in the coming days could prove influential, developments regarding the Brexit process and USA trade protectionism are more likely to influence the Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate.

GBP Remains Unappealing as "No Deal" Brexit Concerns Remain in Focus While the Pound's selloff has cooled since Monday, the British currency continued to tumble against risky trade-correlated currencies like the Australian Dollar on Tuesday as risk-sentiment improved and those currencies easily benefitted from Sterling weakness.

Latest News