August 1, 2016: Interest rates are set to hit a new historic low of 1.50 per cent when the Reserve Bank Board meets tomorrow.
A RateCity.com.au analysis of over 30 key economic indicators suggests the Board will consider of a number of factors including the Australian dollar, growth, the reaction to Brexit, how heated the housing market is and what our neighbours are doing.
However, there are three reasons the bank is more likely than not to pull the trigger.
Peter Arnold, data insights director at RateCity.com.au, said last week’s much-anticipated quarterly inflation figures reflected a sluggish trend – coming in at 1 per cent for the year to June and 0.4 per cent for the quarter.
“The RBA will be inclined to cut rates after Wednesday’s sluggish inflation figures because when rates are cut, borrowers theoretically have a little more money to spend, which increases demand – and in turn the price – of goods and services,” he said.
“While the June unemployment figures showed a jump in the number of full-time employees, overall the labour market growth slightly undershot expectations.
“A rate cut tomorrow could help to stimulate growth and make room for more jobs in the market.
“The Federal Reserve’s decision to leave US rates on hold last week puts the pressure on Glenn Stevens to cut rates in August.
“Had the Fed hiked rates in July then in theory the US dollar would be higher and the Aussie dollar lower, effectively doing the heavy lifting for the RBA Board.
“Despite a last-minute drop before inflation figures were released, the relatively-high dollar will also add to the RBA’s woes,” he said.
On top of this, fixed home loan rates continue to tumble, with more than 600 rate cuts in June and July, Arnold said.
“On average, three-year fixed home loan rates are 0.36 percentage points lower than variable rates and the gap between the two is the widest it has been in over a year. This suggests the lenders are anticipating another cut,” he said.
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