NAB Change in Policy View – 22 September 2020

The RBA continues to signal further monetary easing is likely.

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The RBA continues to signal further monetary easing is likely. Deputy Governor Debelle in a speech titled The Australian Economy and Monetary Policy, “outline[d] [the] possibilities for further monetary policy action should the Reserve Bank Board decide that is warranted” and concluded that “the [RBA] Board will continue to assess the merits of the range of monetary options to best support the economic recovery”. NAB now sees significant risk of the RBA easing policy further by cutting the cash rate, 3-year yield target and TFF rate by 15bps to 0.10% (from 0.25%). The remuneration on ES balances which is already at 0.10% is likely to be either unchanged, or cut slightly, so as to remain positive. We also expect the RBA to announce outright QE purchases in the 5-10 year area of the curve, so as to lower longer-dated rates to provide stimulus via the portfolio rebalance effect/a lower $A. Different to YCC, this would likely require a nominated quantum of bond purchases per period to be announced.

NAB expects these further easing measures to be announced at either the October or November Board meetings, noting that the October Board meeting is the same day as the Budget, while the November SMP after the November Board could be an avenue to communicate its messaging to a wider audience. While NAB remains of the view that further monetary easing will have only marginal impact on the economy, the RBA continues to signal that it will do what it can to support the recovery: “given the outlook for inflation and employment is not consistent with the Bank’s objectives over the period ahead, the Board continues to assess other policy options”. Fiscal policy also continues to be well-placed to support the recovery and further measures are expected to be announced on this front in the Budget on October 6.

It is also worth emphasising the RBA continues to rule out negative rates (“empirical evidence on negative rates is mixed”) and the Bank is very reluctant to intervene in the exchange rate (“AUD broadly aligned with its fundamentals”), citing the experience of the Swiss National Bank in today’s speech.

For further details, please see the NAB Change in Policy View 22 September 2020