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Analysts at National Australia Bank suggest that they are increasingly worried about downside risks for the Australian economy and suggests that the international outlook also is not inspiring confidence as well.

Key Quotes

“Our forecasts remain for GDP growth of around 1.7% in 2019, 2 ¼% in 2020 and 2 ½% in 2021 (as more expansionary policy kicks in).     As per previous forecasts the key dynamics continue to be a weak household sector, with only modest growth in consumption and declining dwelling investment offset by strength in public spending, business investment and exports in the near term.”

“These below trend forecasts see no improvement in the degree of   labour market spare capacity   and we see the unemployment rate rising slightly, reaching 5.5% by mid to end-2020 and broadly remaining there over the forecasting period.   With unemployment well above current estimates of full employment, a key implication is that wage growth will likely remain weak – though we do expect it to rise gradually.”

“We continue to expect the RBA to cut rates by 25 points by November – but are very aware that any further near term data weakness will see the October RBA meeting as live.   With the Government seemingly reluctant to further boost fiscal policy in the near term we are moving to insert another cut into our rate profile. At this stage we have tentatively placed it in early 2020 (February).”

“With tax cuts making little impact on consumer spending (and probably won’t in the near term) and rate cuts taking time to impact we continue see a need for further fiscal stimulus, through new infrastructure spending or the pull-forward of tax cuts. Unless something meaningful is done on fiscal policy we would not rule out another cut (bringing the Official Cash rate to 0.25%) by mid-2020 together with non-conventional monetary policy. It should be noted that RBA growth forecasts are still at least 0.5ppt stronger than our projections.”