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RBA to hold rates on Melbourne Cup Day

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016

Savers will have something extra to celebrate on Melbourne Cup day with the Reserve Bank tipped to keep interest rates on hold.

Eleven of 14 economists surveyed by AAP expect the RBA to leave rates steady at a record low of 1.5 per cent on Tuesday.

AAP's calculation, based on the futures market, currently prices the chance of the central bank relieving borrowers - at just 4.14 per cent.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the RBA's key rate cut trigger, inflation, was still low at 0.7 per cent in the September quarter.

But he said rise in Australia's terms of trade in the quarter, strong new homes sales in the month of September and low producer price inflation would keep the Reserve Bank on hold.

"On balance it (low inflation) is probably not enough to trigger an immediate rate cut as inflation is in line with the RBA's own expectations, economic growth looks to be reasonable and rising commodity prices are set to boost national income," Mr Oliver said in a note.

JP Morgan chief economist Sally Auld said despite low inflation the RBA would remain on hold for the rest of the year before lowering the cash rate again in early 2017.

"While not requiring immediate policy response, the weakness in core inflation remains an issue for the RBA and means officials are increasingly sensitive to any wobbles in the activity data," she added.

One of the three economists tipping a rate cut tomorrow, Commonwealth Bank's Michael Blythe said he was doing so without great conviction.

However, he was making the call because underlying inflation in the third quarter was actually a touch weaker than the RBA's own forecasts.

"Much like the May and August moves, inflation prospects and risks could drag the Bank over the line," Mr Blythe said.

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