Connect with us

Finance

RBA’s First Female Governor Takes Charge: Will Interest Rates Hold Steady or See Year-End Hike?

Published

on

Interest rates are unlikely to change after a Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting but a final hike before the end of the year is still on the table, as the central bank’s first female governor gets to work.

The RBA has left the official cash rate unchanged at 4.1 per cent for the past three months, following its regular meeting on monetary policy.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the first under the leadership of Michele Bullock, who last month replaced Philip Lowe.

A total of four percentage points of interest rate hikes has been delivered since April last year when the cash rate was at a record low of 0.1 per cent.

A surge in inflation forced the central bank to start hiking interest rates, but the pace of price growth has since been moderating, giving the RBA space to stay on the sidelines.

An uptick in the August consumer price index, particularly across services and core measures, has injected some complexity into the inflation battle.

But the central bank is widely expected to wait for the full quarterly set of price data due later this month before considering any further tightening.

Thirty of 32 economists surveyed by Reuters expect the central bank to keep rates steady at Tuesday’s meeting, with a small majority predicting one more hike before the end of the year to take the cash rate to 4.35 per cent.

Economic teams at the big four banks are all tipping a hold in October with NAB the only one expecting one more 25 basis point rise in this cycle.

ANZ believes the RBA is on an extended pause but warns the chance of another hike has edged higher.

“While much of the lift in inflation reflects volatile items, such as petrol prices, which we think the RBA can look through, there was also a little more inflation in other parts of the basket versus our expectations,” ANZ head of Australian economics Adam Boyton and his colleagues wrote in an economic note.

The ANZ economists said signs that inflation could be running a little higher than expected suggest any move in 2023 or early next year will likely be a hike, rather than a cut.

Nationals leader David Littleproud on Tuesday called on the RBA to acknowledge the cost-of-living pressures that continue to weigh on Australians.

“It’s really hurting out there at the moment and hopefully the RBA understands the pain,” he told Nine’s Today Show.

“They’ve just (got to) put the finger out the window and feel the breeze.”

Meanwhile, consumers have been reporting extremely low confidence levels by historical standards, with ANZ and Roy Morgan’s latest index recording another result well below the 111.1 monthly average since 1990.

Confidence did improve a little last week, however, lifting 1.8 points to 78.2.

The improvement was recorded despite the monthly consumer price index, which was released last week, lifting to 5.2 per cent, fuelled by higher prices at the petrol pump.

Weekly inflation expectations also softened a minor 0.2 percentage points to 5.2 per cent despite the well-publicised growth in consumer prices.

The more optimistic week for consumers was driven by a 3.2 point lift in how households were feeling about financial conditions at the moment.

The ‘future financial conditions’ component also lifted a convincing 2.4 points.

Finance

Australian Consumer Confidence Reaches 20-Month High

Published

on

Household budgets are still under pressure but green shoots of optimism are starting to sprout in the consumer sector.

Consumer confidence as measured in weekly and monthly surveys has been stuck deep in the doldrums as interest rates went higher and cost of living pressures intensified.

However modest improvements have been logged in recent months, coinciding with convincing progress on inflation and talk of interest rate cuts.

The March update of the Westpac and Melbourne Institute monthly survey, which is due for release on Tuesday, hit a 20-month high in February but was still below the 100 neutral mark.

Since then, consumers have observed a mixed bag of data, including a return to real wage growth – but only just – and a gloomy report card for the economy in the December quarter.

Also on Tuesday, National Australia Bank’s business conditions gauge for February is scheduled.

The private sector has proved resilient in the face of economic headwinds but the January update revealed waning momentum.

The business conditions gauge, which captures profitability, hiring movements and sales activity, broke a two-year streak of above-average conditions over the month, falling to just below that threshold.

At the same time, confidence in the business sector improved a little but was still below the long-run average.

Data on the total value of residential dwellings is also due from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, as well as a speech from Sarah Hunter, Reserve Bank assistant governor (economics) at the AFR Business Summit.

More insights into the consumer will be released on Wednesday, with Commonwealth Bank’s report on household spending due.

Monthly business turnover is also slated from the ABS on Wednesday, and then overseas arrivals on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Australian stock market is expected to dip on Monday, after Wall Street ended narrowly weaker on Friday amid profit-taking by investors.

The decline followed a US labour market report that showed more new jobs than expected were created in February while the jobless rate rose to 3.9 per cent.

The US S&P 500 index lost 32.99 points, or 0.64 per cent, to end at 5,124.37 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 185.22 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 16,085.11.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66.28 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 38,725.74.

The soft finish led Australian share price index futures 47 points lower to 7811, paving the way for a softer start to the trading week.

On Friday, the local bourse closed above 7,800 points for the first time, on signals that interest rate cuts in Europe and the US could happen sooner rather than later, giving investors hope the Reserve Bank of Australia could follow suit.

The S&P/ASX200 finished at 7,847.0, up 83.3 points, or 1.1 per cent for the day and up 1.3 per cent for the week.

The broader All Ordinaries climbed 80.8 points, or 1.01 per cent, to 8,107.5.

Continue Reading

Finance

TransPerfect Legal Wins 2023 Legal Tech Award

Published

on

TransPerfect Legal, a global provider of eDiscovery and litigation support solutions, has received Australasian Lawyer and NZ Lawyer’s 2023 Service Provider Award within the legal technology and eDiscovery category for the second consecutive year.

Australasian Lawyer and NZ Lawyer’s Service Provider Awards spotlight legal providers that are delivering the industry’s most effective and transformative solutions across legal technology, legal services, litigation support and consulting, recruiting, staffing and outsourcing, and ADR and mediation.

TransPerfect’s first Australian office opened in Sydney in 2007, with a dedicated TransPerfect Legal support team, servers, and forensic lab added in 2019. In response to the office’s rapid growth and the high demand for TransPerfect services in Australia, the company later added a Melbourne office. TransPerfect Legal was also named Australasian Legal Service Provider of the Year by Australasian Lawyer, and honoured as a 5 Star Service Provider by Australasian Lawyer in 2022.

TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe commented, “We are proud to be recognised by Australasian Lawyer and NZ Lawyer. Credit for this award goes to our team of eDiscovery professionals and their unwavering commitment to our clients.”

About TransPerfect Legal
TransPerfect Legal is a global leader in legal technology and support. Founded in 1992, TransPerfect Legal has offices in 120+ cities across six continents and offers a suite of services and technologies to Am Law 200 and Global 100 law firms as well as corporate legal departments. Solutions include forensic technology and consultinge-discovery and early data assessmentmanaged review and legal staffinglanguage servicesdeposition and trial support, and paper discovery and production, all offered alongside the Reef Technology ecosystem, TransPerfect Legal’s suite of proprietary applications that address the needs of legal and regulatory practitioners around the world. www.transperfectlegal.com.

About TransPerfect
TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business. From offices in more than 100 cities on six continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in 200+ languages to clients worldwide. More than 6,000 global organizations employ TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® technology to simplify the management of multilingual content. With an unparalleled commitment to quality and client service, TransPerfect is fully ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified. TransPerfect has global headquarters in New York, with regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com

Continue Reading

Finance

Annature and AccountKit Unveil Groundbreaking Integration, Revolutionising eSignature Processes for Accountants

Published

on

Annature, Australia’s leading eSigning provider, in partnership with AccountKit, the premier compliance automation platform in accounting software, is thrilled to announce a revolutionary integration designed to modernise and streamline the eSignature process for accountants and bookkeepers.

This innovative integration directly connects AccountKit with Annature, allowing for the seamless transmission of documents and associated recipient information—such as eSigner names, contact numbers, and email addresses.

Key Features of the Integration:

  • Streamlined Efficiency: The integration eradicates manual data input, freeing up valuable time for professionals.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: By minimising human errors associated with manual data handling, the integration ensures greater precision in document processing.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Professionals can now manage and authorise documents within a unified platform, enhancing user experience and satisfaction.
  • Robust Security: The integration guarantees the protection of sensitive financial data throughout the transfer and eSignature process.

Corey Cacic, Annature CEO, stated: “This integration is a huge advancement for the industry. The hassle of manually moving data between systems has always been a drain on productivity. This seamless integration allows professionals to concentrate on their core tasks while reducing administrative overhead. I’m thrilled about the new levels of efficiency and precision this will introduce.”

Paul Murray, Co-founder of AccountKit, added: “This partnership is a transformative moment for our user community. We continually strive to augment our platform and simplify our users’ lives. Teaming up with Annature has enabled us to achieve just that.”

The integration is currently available in BETA as of December 2023 for all Annature and AccountKit users.

Continue Reading

Trending