The RBA has just released it quarterly statement of monetary policy, including changes to its key GDP and inflation forecasts.
Here are the forecasts offered by the RBA in August:
And here they are for November:
On economic growth, the RBA now expects GDP to increase by 2.25% by the end of the current calendar year, down from 2.50% in August. Further out the forecast years, growth expectations for the end of the 2016/17 fiscal year and calendar year 2017 were also lowered fractionally to 2.75%-3.75% and 3-4% respectively.
In terms of average GDP growth, the only notable change was a narrowing in the forecast range for 2017, now seen at 2.75-3.75% from 2.5-4% forecast previously.
On inflation, the RBA downgraded its forecasts for this year and next. Headline inflation is now seen at 1.75% by the end of this year, down from 2.5% in August, with that for fiscal year 2015/16 lowered to 1.5-2.5% from 2-3% seen previously.
Core inflation, that targeted by the RBA, is forecast to slow to just 2% by the end of 2015, 0.5% lower than August. By the end of fiscal year 2015/16, it’s expected to remain subdued at 1.5% to 2.5%, below the 2-3% forecast seen previously.
Although largely in line with expectations, the downward revisions to the core inflation figure were perhaps a touch larger than anticipated. It’s now expected to remain at the bottom end of the RBA’s 2-3% target band over the near-term, and is expected to remain within target out the forecast years.
With such a benign inflation outlook, should the domestic economy require additional monetary policy stimulus, there is clearly room for the RBA to move if required.
That fits with RBA governor Glenn Stevens’ speech delivered on Thursday in which he acknowledged “were a change to monetary policy to be required in the near term, it would almost certainly be an easing, not a tightening.”
The Australian dollar is barely moved on the forecast changes, currently sitting at .7147.
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