According to a board minutes policy meeting, Australia's central bank anticipates the economy to return to growth in the current quarter after a Delta outbreak damaged the recovery. However, it still doesn't expect to hike interest rates until 2024.
The recovery, aided by growing vaccination rates that allowed New South Wales and Victoria states to reopen after months of lockdowns, would be slower than the recovery after the first wave of COVID-19 a year ago, the meeting showed.
"In the central scenario, the economy would return to growth in the December quarter and to its pre-Delta trend in the second half of 2022," said the RBA.
Rising house prices and credit were discussed, with the conclusion that while stricter monetary policy would slow the housing frenzy, it would also result in unacceptably fewer jobs and reduced wage growth.
The Board considered lending standards enforcement and loan serviceability requirements to be the best mechanisms for dealing with the surge. On October 6, the banking regulator raised mortgage serviceability buffer requirements.
Last year, the RBA cut its official cash rate to a 0.1% record low to assist the economy during the pandemic, and has since consistently stated it does not expect to increase interest rates before 2024 due to slow wage growth and inflation.
However, markets have been pricing in rate rises before then, particularly as other central banks, such as New Zealand, have begun to tighten policy.
ANZ Bank's head of Australian economics, David Plank, remarked the April 2024 government bond has been trading over the RBA's 10 basis point yield objective, and that if this continued, the market may interpret it as a change to guidance on the rate outlook.
"Unless the yield falls dramatically, we expect the RBA to enter the market in the next day or two," he stated.