Economy

RBA lifts rates to 0.85pc and signals higher inflation before declining in FY23

Tue 07 Jun 22, 4:15pm (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Today's 50-basis point hike was the largest single increase since February 2000
  • The size and timing of future interest rate increases will be guided by the incoming data and the RBA’s outlook for inflation and the labour market
  • Inflation is expected to continue going up, before declining back towards the 2% to 3% range next year

There were no doubts what the market thought of the Reserve Bank’s (RBAs) decision to raise the interest rates by 50 basis points (bps) to 0.85 bps at 2.30 today with the S&P/ASX 200 tumbling from 7140 to 7086 points within 30 minutes, down -1.7% an hour out from the close.

The 50-basis point hike was the largest single increase since February 2000.

On the heels of the RBA announcement, the A$ rose nearly half a US cent to US72.33, while the yield on the three-year Australian bond nudged forward 19 basis points to 3.16%.

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Official cash rate today.

Blame it on covid, war in Ukraine, labour markets - floods

The RBA notes within today’s commentary that while [Australian] inflation is lower than in most other advanced economies, it is higher than earlier expected… with global factors, including covid-related disruptions to supply chains and the war in Ukraine, accounting for much of this increase.

The central bank also conceded that domestic factors, including capacity constraints in some sectors, a tight labour market and floods earlier this year added to upward pressure on prices.

Got to go up to come down

While it’s probably self-evident to everybody, the RBA also reminded the market that inflation is expected to continue going up, before declining back towards the 2% to 3% 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", the RBA noted.

“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.”

Withdrawal from extreme monetary support

The RBA board’s decision to increase rates signals that the extraordinary monetary support needed to prop up Australian economy during the pandemic is no longer required.

“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 RBA stated.

“The board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions… and is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.”

However, the RBA also noted that 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.

Most economists got it wrong

While Goldman Sachs and Bank of America were among those to correctly forecast a 50-basis point increase, Westpac (ASX: WBC) and ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ) along with a cohort of mainstream economists expected a 40-basis point outcome.

Then there were Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) and National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) that were wide of the mark having expected a 25-basis point rise.

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Every picture tells a story: the S&P/ASX200 fell after today's RBA rate hike.

 

Written By

Mark Story

Editor

Mark is an investigative financial journalist and editor who started his career working for Marathon Oil in London. He has a degree in politics/economics and a diploma in journalism. Mark has worked on 70-plus newspapers and financial publications across Australia, NZ, the US, and Asia including: The Australian Financial Review, Money Magazine, Australian Property Investor and Finance Asia. Mark is passionate about improving the financial literacy of all Australians through the highest quality content. Email Mark at [email protected].

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