Ricardo’s Business> ANZ calls August rate rise

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He’s the first major economist to make the call, following yesterday’s inflation data, which showed underlying inflation edging at the high end of the RBA’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent.

Mr Hogan says a small upward adjustment to interest rates now could well save the Australian economy from a painful series of hikes in 2012.

In fact, if indeed we do see a rate rise next week, ANZ doesn’t expect another increase until mid-2012.

The bank notes, the most likely factor that could keep the RBA on hold in August would be a significant deterioration in the US debt situation.

The RBA however, meets a few hours before the August 2nd deadline, for the US to agree on a new debt plan.

It comes as AMP Capital Chief Economist, Shane Oliver said today, that the latest CPI data shouldn’t be enough to warrant a move on interest rates because of the uncertainties surrounding the global economy, weak household demand and the strong Australian dollar. Instead, he believes the most likely outcome, is an extended period of rates on hold.

What makes this story so interesting, is that a fortnight ago, Bill Evans, the Global Head of Economics at Westpac, and interestingly Warren Hogan’s old boss ten years ago, made the brave call that the next interest rate move would be down.

Following Westpac’s Consumer Sentiment survey which pointed to a dramatic fall in confidence, Mr Evans predicted the RBA would cut interest rates four times by the September quarter of next year, starting with a 25 basis point cut in December.

The RBA will announce its decision at 230pm AEST on Tuesday.