MNI BRIEF: RBA's Bullock See Rates Up A "Little Bit" Further
The Reserve Bank of Australia will "do what it takes" to rein in inflation and that rates will need to go up further, Deputy Governor Michele Bullock said in an appearance before a Senate committee on Thursday. However, she said policymakers were "not set" on timing or amount." The RBA is expected to rise rates another 25bp when it meets on December 6, which would have seen it tighten policy by 300bp since May.
Bullock telegraphed the Bank may be getting close to pausing its most aggressive rate tightening cycle in three decades. “It’s getting up to where maybe there might be an opportunity to sit and wait and look a little bit about what’s going to happen next,” she said. Bullock delivered a speech on Wednesday night, saying the peak in inflation was near. (See MNI: RBA's Bullock Says Inflation peak Near; More Hikes Coming)
Bullock was also quizzed on the recent Federal Budget. "It's certainly not contractionary at this point but it's moving in a direction that is sensible under the circumstances, which is trying to consolidate now that we have a strong economy, strong employment" she said. "It's appropriate that the Budget starts to try to consolidate.