It's a bet each way ahead of today's RBA Board meeting on interest rates | Kanebridge News
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It’s a bet each way ahead of today’s RBA Board meeting on interest rates

As the heat comes out of the inflation rate, the pressure to increase the cash rate has eased. But will it be enough to keep it on hold?

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Aug 1, 2023 9:38amGrey Clock < 1 min

Economic experts are split over whether another interest rate increase is likely ahead of this afternoon’s meeting of the RBA Board.

While three of the four top banks predicted a few months ago that rates would most likely increase in August, last week’s inflation figures have cast doubt on that outcome. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data showing that the rate of inflation had fallen for the second consecutive month, down to 6 percent from a peak of 7.8 percent in December last year. While it is heading in the right direction, the pace of the decrease may not be enough to head off a further rise in the cash rate.

Under the governorship of Philip Lowe, the RBA Board has been determined to drive down inflation to a more manageable range of 2 to 3 percent. However, interest rates have risen by 4 percent in little over a year, putting increasing pressure on household budgets and fuelling concerns that any further hikes could push Australia into recession. Dr Lowe will step down as governor after the September board meeting, with deputy governor Michele Bullock taking on the role, the first woman to do so.

The competing economic concerns have left the major banks split down the middle about which way this afternoon’s decision will go, with Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank predicting an increase to 4.35 percent and ANZ and NAB suggesting rates will stay on hold at 4.1 percent.

The decision will be announced later this afternoon.



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