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Economists expect no rate move from RBA

AAP logoAAP 30/09/2016 Garry Shilson-Josling, Economist

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep the cash rate at 1.5 per cent next week, but after two cuts so far in 2016 economists have not ruled out another before Christmas.

The monthly board meeting will be the first under new RBA governor Philip Lowe, who took over on September 18 when Glenn Stevens ended his 10-years at the helm.

The futures market has factored in only a tiny two per cent chance of a cut to 1.25 per cent on Tuesday, after cuts of a quarter per cent in both May and August.

Economist are unanimous in forecasting the RBA will sit pat, according to a survey of 33 economists by finder.com.

"Not enough has changed since the last rate cut in August," AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said.

"Most recent commentary from the RBA, including from Governor Lowe, has expressed a broadly neutral tone regarding rates and the RBA is likely waiting for the release of the September quarter inflation data in late October as a guide to whether it will cut in November."

Dr Oliver said the RBA is likely to cut again in November, but recent solid economic growth figures suggest that will be a close call.

St George Bank senior economist Janu Chan is also not expecting a cut on Tuesday, but sees a chance of a move further down the track.

"At present, the RBA seems relaxed about the financial stability risks that could potentially come from the housing sector, and raises the chance that further interest rate cuts are on the cards," she said.

Gareth Aird, senior economist at Commonwealth Bank, put the focus on the new governor's statement that will follow the board meeting.

He is not expecting a cut.

"But it will be Dr Philip Lowe's first meeting as head of the RBA which means there is a good chance that the Governor's post meeting statement is fresh," Mr Aird said.

Ahead of further guidance from Dr Lowe's announcement, the futures market has priced the end-of-year cash rate at 1.42 per cent, implying some chance of a cut, but a much greater chance it will be kept at 1.5 per cent.

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