The Experts

When can we expect a rate hike?

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As we should all do in line with Keynes's famous aphorism, HSBC's Bloxham has shifted his first hike call from quarter two to quarter three, following most other economists. At this stage, Goldman Sachs's Tim Toohey and UBS's Scott Haslem were ahead-of-the-curve (no pun intended) in shifting their calls back to quarter four and quarter three, respectively, earlier in the year.

I did not agree with those decisions at the time, but a curious combination of subsequent events, including Cyclone Yasi, a major global oil price shock that taxes consumption, extreme political discord in MENA countries (two bob for working out what 'MENA' means), the tragic NZ earthquake, and now the catastrophic Japanese earthquake-cum-tsunami have only added much grist to slow-growth mill.

Right now I am guessing that even the RBA does not know when its first hike is. But if I was going to bet, I would wager that all current probabilities will be proven wrong.


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Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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