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Economists issue major warning on RBA interest rate cut

One in five experts forecast the RBA will hold the cash rate until July 2025 or later.

RBA governor Michele Bullock and houses
Experts aren't expecting the RBA to cut interest rates until 2025. (Source: Getty/AAP)

Aussie mortgage holders may have to wait another year to see interest rate relief, a growing number of economists say. The Reserve Bank (RBA) is expected to hold the cash rate at 4.35 per cent at its June meeting this week.

The majority of experts (56 per cent) surveyed for Finder’s RBA Cash Rate Survey this month believe the central bank won’t start cutting rates until at least 2025. One in five have forecast rate cuts will be off the table until July 2025 or later.

Many economists ditched their 2024 rate cut predictions after the latest figures showed inflation rose to 3.6 per cent in April, ticking up from 3.5 per cent in March and down from a peak of 8.4 per cent in December 2022.



Oxford Economics Australia head of macroeconomic forecasting Sean Langcake said cost pressures “remain elevated in the services sector” and the path to the RBA’s target range of 2 to 3 per cent could be “bumpy”.

“Subsidies announced in the budget will lower headline inflation in the near term. But the RBA will be focussed on core inflation – and the loosening of policy is otherwise stimulatory at a time when the RBA is looking to take some steam out of the economy,” Langcake said.

“We now see the first cash rate cut coming in early 2025."

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Moody’s Analytics economist Harry Murphy Cruise said the outlook for Aussie inflation had “gotten a little murkier of late” and isn’t tipping a rate cut until December.

Murphy Cruise noted the government’s $300 energy rebate was about to come into effect, along with similar state-based rebates and the reworked stage three tax cuts.

“All that will ensure the RBA stays put for a little longer; its next move will be down, but we’ll have to wait a little longer,” he said.

“The board will be cautious not to pull the rate-cut trigger too early, what with large amounts about to hit bank accounts.”

Pathfinder Consulting managing director Peter Boehm warned the possibility of a rate hike isn’t off the cards.

"There is no justification to reduce rates based on current economic data,” Boehm said.

“In fact, it's quite the opposite. The pendulum is swinging towards an increase because of sticky inflation and a government fiscal policy which is likely to put upward pressures on inflation.”

ANZ became the first of the Big Four banks to push back its interest rate cut prediction. The major bank now expects the first cut will come in February next year.

Previously, ANZ was in line with CBA, NAB and Westpac in forecasting that a cut would happen this November.

“The stronger than expected first-quarter CPI also makes it hard to see the RBA being sufficiently confident that inflation will return to and stay in the band by the time the November meeting comes around,” ANZ head of Australian economics Adam Boyton said.

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