In our Sydney commentary overnight, we said about the RBA Board meeting that, “Re-reading the November 7th Statement, it is not obvious which paragraphs need much of a tweak either way”. Putting today’s Statement side-by-side, you’d need a magnifying glass to discern much of a difference.
“Recent data suggest that the Australian economy grew at around its trend rate over the year to the September quarter. The central forecast is for GDP growth to average around 3 per cent over the next few years. Business conditions are positive and capacity utilisation has increased. The outlook for non-mining business investment has improved further, with the forward-looking indicators being more positive than they have been for some time… Employment growth has been strong over 2017 and the unemployment rate has declined. Employment has been rising in all states and has been accompanied by a rise in labour force participation. The various forward-looking indicators continue to point to solid growth in employment over the period ahead.”
The use of the word “further” when talking about investment is one subtle change but whilst the RBA went on to note that, “some employers are finding it more difficult to hire workers with the necessary skills”, they qualified this in the very next sentence by saying, “However, wage growth remains low.”
With retail sales showing a +0.5% m/m increase in October against forecasts of a more modest +0.3% rise, Australia’s Dollar has had a better night than its cricketers. AUD/USD is almost half a cent higher at 0.7645 whilst GBP/AUD is a full 1 ½ cents lower at 1.7585.