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Justin Smirk, Research Analyst at Westpac, points out that Australia’s June Quarter CPI printed 0.4%qtr compared to Westpac’s forecast for 0.4%, while the market median was 0.5%.

Key Quotes

“Given that at 2 decimal places the rise in the CPI was 0.36%qtr it’s clearly a soft update. The annual rate was lifted on base effects to 2.1%yr compared to 1.9% in 2018 Q1 and 2017 Q4 and 1.8%yr in Q3.”

“The average of the core measures, which are seasonally adjusted and exclude extreme moves, rose 0.5%qtr meeting expectations.”

“In the quarter, the trimmed mean gained 0.46% while the weighted median lifted 0.45%. The annual pace of the average of the core measures printed 1.9%yr, a slight deceleration below the band from 2.0%yr in Q1 2018 and in Q4 and Q3 of 2017.”

“Incorporating revisions, the six month annualised growth in core inflation is only (just) holding the bottom of the RBA target band printing 2.0%yr.”

“So far in 2018 we struggle to find any broad inflationary pressure in the Australian economy.”

“We have now seen seven consecutive quarters where forecasters over-estimated the CPI print. The average error since the December quarter 2016 is +0.14ppt.”

“Will analysts now over adjust their estimates for inflation downwards for the next quarter resulting in the first upwards surprise from inflation in the September quarter CPI?”

“Our preliminary estimate for the 2018 Q3 CPI is 0.5%qtr which will see the annual pace ease to 2.0%yr. We now think we have seen the peak for inflation in 2018 and expect inflation to remain under 2.0% all the way out to end 2019.”