Australia's central bank continues to hold interest rate

Australian Dollar outlook

A higher rate of inflation increases the odds of a future RBA interest rate hike, as it puts more pressure on policymakers to consider raising rates to combat price growth. This was a deeper drop than the expected minus 0.5% decline and the 2.4% gain in May. The AUD/USD still looks like a good pair to sell on rallies, with the fundamentals remaining bearish for the Aussie currency.

A statement accompanying the decision from Philip Lowe, the central bank's governor, gave a nod to uncertainty over United States trade policy as well as household consumption domestically, in addition to noting the toll taken on Australia's farm sector by a recent drought.

Equities were collectively higher in both Europe and North America, with the FTSE100 rallying 0.7 per cent, and the Dow Jones leading USA indices to climb 0.5 per cent. "But with a complex set of risks in each country, there's likely to be something for everyone", ANZ Bank New Zealand chief economist Sharon Zollner and senior macro strategist Philip Borkin said in a note. Forward indications point to a period of sustained low interest rates.

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'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.

'GDP growth is expected to average a bit above 3% in 2018 and 2019. "That was an improvement on the previous call of 5.25%, but still a glacial decline from the current 5.4%". Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is continuing to increase.

"This is an important difference, with Australia's faster population growth being one of the reasons our economy has experienced higher average growth than many other advanced economies", Dr Lowe said. Therein contained the usual blue-sky analysis of the Australian economy, while touching on the various local and worldwide risks - primarily in the shape of concerns around private debt levels and trade-war fears. "The central forecast is for inflation to be higher in 2019 and 2020 than it is now". This is largely due to reduced demand by investors as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. A clamp-down by regulators on investment loans and tighter lending standards by banks mean house prices nationally are now falling for the first time since 2012. "There is competition for borrowers of high credit quality".

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"So the stand-off continues and the RBA will remain on hold for a while to come".

"Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time", the bank said in a statement.

"The RBA recently raised concerns over the vulnerability of overly indebted households to economic shocks and noted the implications that a significant change to interest rates would have on these households' disposable incomes". Further progress in reducing unemployment and having inflation return to target is expected, although this progress is likely to be gradual, said RBA.

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