Tue, May 30, 2023 @ 08:03 GMT
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RBA minutes reveal considerations of rate hike and pause

The minutes from the RBA April 4 monetary policy meeting revealed that the Board weighed the options of a 25bps rate hike and a pause. On balance, there was a “a stronger case to pause at this meeting and reassess the need for further tightening at future meetings”, after having “additional data and an updated set of forecasts”. But members emphasized the to communicate clearly that “monetary policy may need to be tightened at subsequent meetings”. RBA kept cash rate target unchanged at 3.6% at that meeting.

The case for a 25bps hike was primarily driven by concerns over high inflation and a tight labor market. The potential persistence of high inflation and two additional factors—upgraded near-term population growth projections and the risk of larger wage increases in parts of the economy—also supported further tightening.

On the other hand, the case for a pause stemmed from the already restrictive monetary policy following significant tightening in a short period, with the full effects on the economy yet to be observed. Tighter monetary policy had contributed to a housing market slowdown, decelerated consumption growth, and financial pressure on some households with housing loans. The value of pausing lay in the opportunity to gather additional data on various economic indicators and to receive updated forecasts from the staff, which would be invaluable in reassessing the economic outlook and determining the extent of further tightening needed.

Full RBA minutes here.

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