The RBA minutes are published two weeks after each meeting and, while they’re probably not recommended as fascinating holiday reading, they do provide great insight into the rationale of decisions and how the RBA board sees the economic future of Australia.
The minutes from the RBA meeting confirm that a rate hike is still a long way off. Worried by the high level of household debt, the RBA is keeping a close eye on household balance sheets. In other words, a rate rise could cause a bit of mortgage stress and no one wants that. Plus, the economic implications of Aussie households having less cash to spend on “stuff” are dire as household consumption comprises 60% of our economy. Other things playing on the RBA’s mind include a simmering global trade war and the slowdown in China. The takeaway? The RBA is more concerned about the outlook for Australia now, than it was last month .
We looked to a range of expert economists for their view. The Australian Financial Review released their quarterly economist survey which surveyed leading economists on rate rise predictions. The median economist view sees interest rates on hold through to June 2019 with a rate hike pushed out to December 2019. Interesting times ahead.