Originally published by AMP Capital
This was well below market (and RBA) expectations for growth around 3.4% year on year.
To some degree the slowdown in the September quarter reflects payback after two surprisingly strong quarters. But it also highlights the uncertainty around consumer spending as house prices slide and the ongoing patchiness of business investment. We still see the risk of a recession in Australia as being low, but the rising list of downside risks to growth also mean that growth is likely to be constrained at around 2.5-3% over the year ahead as opposed to achieving the RBA’s expectation for growth “to average around 3.5%”.
The main points from the September quarter GDP data and associated outlooks are as follows:
The Australian economy continues to grow but its slowed back to a subpar pace after a brief spurt. A bottoming in mining investment, improving non-mining investment, strong infrastructure spending and strong export earnings should support growth going forward but are likely to be offset by the downturn in housing construction and house prices weighing on consumer spending. As such growth is likely to be stuck around 2.5-3% over the year ahead. Given the combination of falling house prices, tightening credit conditions and constrained growth which will keep wages growth weak and inflation below target we are changing our view on the RBA from being one of rates on hold out to second half of 2020 to now seeing the next move being a rate cut. However, with the RBA still seeing the next move as being up it will take them a while to change their thinking so we don’t see rates being cut until second half next year. When it does start cutting the RBA will likely stick to 0.25% increments and since rate moves are a bit like cockroaches there is likely to be more than one. This in turn will ultimately weigh on the Australian dollar.
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