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Economics & Markets

The RBA’s progress report on the Australian economy

By Dr Shane Oliver
Head of Investment Strategy and Economics and Chief Economist, AMP Sydney, Australia

At the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA’s) meeting this week, there were no great surprises.

The central bank left the cash rate on hold at 0.25% for the fourth month in a row, and no change is expected there at the moment. I don’t see the RBA moving into negative territory with rates, as there is no substantial evidence that approach would be effective.

The RBA indicated it is prepared to do whatever it can to support the economy. I think they could do more quantitative easing, which means pumping more money into the economy, bringing the value of the Aussie dollar down, and bringing the longer-term cost of borrowing down even lower.
For now, it looks like the focus is on fiscal policy for future support for the Australian economy. This particularly applies to existing programs like JobKeeper, and whether it is extended beyond the end of September.

The RBA didn’t make any specific mention of the situation in Victoria, which in recent days has continued to worsen. This has, as we know, resulted in a lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne for six weeks. This will no doubt have an impact on the Victorian economy, which is a significant contributor to Australia’s GDP.

Sources: Covid19data.com.au, AMP Capital
Sources: Covid19data.com.au, AMP Capital

More broadly though, the RBA indicated a little more confidence that the economy has bottomed out. However, it is uncertain about the speed of the recovery, and made it clear that recovery remains dependent on the control of COVID-19.

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Important notes

While every care has been taken in the preparation of these articles, AMP Capital Investors Limited (ABN 59 001 777 591, AFSL 232497) makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in them including, without limitation, any forecasts. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Performance goals are merely goals. There is no guarantee that the strategy will achieve that level of performance. The information in this document contains statements that are the author’s beliefs and/or opinions. Any beliefs and/or opinions shared are as at the date shown and are subject to change without notice. These articles have been prepared for the purpose of providing general information, without taking account of any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. They should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendations. An investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs.

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