It’ll now be a frugal Christmas in many Australian homes. But there is a glimmer of good news: if we do tighten our belts, rates could start to come down by as early as the middle of next year.
Inflation has slipped from 6% to 5.4%, but the price of petrol climbed 7.2% in the September quarter. Much depends on what the RBA thinks will happen from here on.
The Reserve Bank governor has only three months left in the job and he isn’t yet sure inflation is on the way down.
More than one million borrowers are set to come off ultra-low fixed mortgage rates this year and next, meaning the full effect of the ten rate rises to date is yet to be felt.
The Reserve Bank’s statement indicates there aren’t too many rate rises left. History suggests those hikes could come to an end by early spring.
The Reserve Bank has signalled it will keep pushing up rates until it has reigned in inflation – even if this means weaker economic growth, with income per person barely growing for years to come.
The Conversation’s 29-member panel expects very weak economic growth and recessions in much of the rest of the world, but there’s good news down the track for Australians’ buying power.
The full effects of the eight consecutive increases in the Reserve Bank’s cash rate are yet to become apparent, and there are signs inflation is on the way down.
Never, in the three decades the Reserve Bank has been targeting inflation, has it been tested by prices rising in unison like this.
The review will examine the bank’s Act, its inflation target, its management and recruitment process and the composition of its board.
Looking back at the Reserve Bank’s performance in setting interest rates over the past generation, we’d grade it an A for earlier years – but a fail for the years just before the pandemic. Here’s why.
Critics ought to acknowledge that on average over time Australia’s Reserve Bank has met its inflation target, but it is worthwhile examining the way it is run.
For the past 30 years or so, the RBA has targeted an inflation rate of 2-3%. But the rationale for a rate that low was always weak, and has since broken down.
The best way to manage the economy is though an array of tools. Interest rates are just one.
Inflation is well outside the Reserve Bank’s target band and higher than it has been for two decades.
Australia’s Reserve Bank no longer says it is patient, but it is unlikely to move move until it sees widespread higher wage growth.
Beware any advice to go either fixed or variable. You are unlikely to outsmart the bank.
The Conversation’s expert panel predicts prices will rise faster than Australians’ pay can keep up in 2022 – and that’s not their only concern about the local economy.
The 55 leading economists surveyed by the Economic Society see few signs of Australia aping the US, where inflation has surged to its highest level in 30 years.
In its quarterly statement on the economy the Bank is at pains to suggest it won’t be lifting interest rates quickly.