The chances of interest rates getting any lower are very slim, following a recent surge in the housing sector and improved confidence in the Australian economy.
Eight out of 12 economists surveyed by AAP say the Reserve Bank of Australia won’t reduce the cash rate in the foreseeable future, and most say it will raise it in late 2014 or early 2015.
A Melbourne Cup day cash rate cut is a non-starter for all of the those surveyed.
But four forecast a reduction in the first half of next year.
The RBA has slashed the cash rate by two per cent to a record low of 2.5 per cent in a series of reductions over the past two years.
HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham says he thinks improved business and consumer confidence, as well as strong rises in house prices means the RBA has finished its rate cutting cycle.
“The RBA is unlikely to deliver any more rate cuts for fear of over inflating the housing market,” he said.
“Housing price growth has risen and timely auction market data suggest these trends have continued in recent weekends, despite a pickup in supply on the market.
“The upswing in the housing construction cycle also appears to be accelerating, with building approvals for new construction rising in September to their highest level since 2010.”
Mr Bloxham said the rebalancing of the Australian economy away from one dominated by investment in mining and resources seems to be going well.
“It appears to be broadening beyond just a pickup in the housing sector,” he said.
The RBA November board meeting is the first one after the release of very low September quarter inflation figures on October 23.
Melbourne Cup Day has been a popular day for cash rate cuts because it closely follows the inflation figures but Commonwealth Bank economist Diana Mousina says there will be other factors at work besides low inflation.
“The case for further rate cuts is far from compelling,” she said.
“There are clear signs that the non-mining economy is picking up at a time when the threat of a mining capital expenditure pothole appears less threatening.
“The Australian dollar is trading at a lower range and is expected to depreciate further.”
Westpac is the only institution predicting two more rate cuts, both by a quarter of a percentage point in February and May.
Senior economist Matthew Hassan said the reductions would be needed because, he expects, the local rise in confidence will be short lived and investment in the non-mining parts of the economy will remain weak.
“Global conditions are expected to continue to disappoint. That, coupled with weakness domestically, coupled with a softening in consumer sentiment and business confidence and a weak labour market will see the bank move again,” he said.