Westpac Leading Index in Australia showed an encouraging rise from -0.39% to 0.30% in November, marking the first positive, above-trend reading since mid-2022. However, Westpac cautioned that this uptick might be influenced by temporary factors. Also, the shift in underlying momentum, as RBA’s tightening begins to slow, is seen more as a stabilization rather than the start of an upturn.
Further, Westpac highlighted weaker conditions in the domestic sphere, particularly impacting the household sector. This weakness is expected to continue into the first half of next year. Hence, Westpac anticipates that barring a “truly disastrous” December quarter CPI update, RBA is likely to maintain its current policy in the upcoming February meeting.