The RBA should cut the cash rate today to give mortgage holders a break
The RBA is in a position to cut rates a further 0.25 percentage points by Christmas.
A cut today would give ample lead time to have a real impact on Christmas spending.
The RBA has adjusted the rate at each November announcement since 2006. You could say they should keep with tradition for another change in 2012.
There has to be another rate cut this year, even with inflation at 2%. This cut is necessary in order to maintain consumer confidence leading into the Christmas retail period.
GDP growth at 3.7% last quarter is down from the previous quarter. Consumer confidence has been on the slide for some time now, and there is some uncertainty now coming out of China, which has been our paymaster during the mining boom.
Another indicator is the jobs market, which is expected to worsen in towards the end of the year. This would also put pressure on the RBA.
We’ve seen many large-scale restructures and layoffs. The official unemployment rate has moved from 5.1% in August to 5.4% in September. This is not great news for the economy but is welcomed by property investors, as the RBA should give mortgage holders a break.
It is clear that the RBA and banks need to lower interest rates to stimulate confidence. With lower interest rates and house prices at present representing real value this will drive property sales, which will have a positive effect on the broader economy. In addition, a rate cut will also act as an incentive for investors to re-engage with the Australian property market.
Robert Projeski is a leading property finance expert and the founder and managing director of Australian Mortgage Options. He has appeared on radio and TV and written extensively on property and finance matters.
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