Reserve Bank of Australia February 2019 meeting minutes, post is here from earlier:
Never mind that headline … so much uncertainty right now, not just consumption.
Responses, this via CBA:
- The Reserve Bank Board outlined its shift from a tightening bias to a neutral policy stance in its policy minutes released today. The central bank has joined a growing chorus of global policymakers concerned about the slowdown in business, industrial and consumer surveys at the end of 2018. Like other central banks, the Reserve Bank will patiently monitor each data release and adjudge whether the domestic economy is stabilising. Developments in the labour and property markets - and the impact on household consumption - remains key to interest rate settings.
- Reserve Bank policymakers are concerned about the outlook for consumer spending. So far, Aussie households have remained resilient, despite falling property prices. The job market is solid, there are bargains to be had in retail outlets and the Aussie dollar has stabilised in recent weeks thanks largely to reduced expectations for US interest rate hikes and strengthening iron ore prices. Central banks have reacted to concerns about slowing global growth, poor industrial data, political uncertainty (i.e. Brexit and elections) and tightening financial conditions by backing off monetary policy and balance sheet normalisation.
- CommSec expects interest rates to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
- The policy outlook is firmly linked to progress in reducing the unemployment rate and moving the inflation rate back into the 2-3% policy band.
- The risks around the outlook centre on the household sector and dwelling investment.
- a very significant warning around the policy outlook, the minutes state "if prices were to fall much further, consumption could be weaker than forecast, which would result in lower GDP growth, higher unemployment and lower inflation than forecast". This statement directly links developments in house prices to the Bank's key policy forecasts.
- our current forecasts remain lower than those of the RBA and we therefore expect that, over time, the RBA will further revise down their forecasts.
- However we do not think that those downward revisions will be sufficient to trigger a rate cut.
(WPAC are currently projecting the RBA on hold through 2019 and 2020)