Unemployment figures add fuel to rate cut fire

New ABS figures show unemployment rates rose in June, but three of the major lenders maintain an August rate cut is unlikely



Yesterday, NAB indicated it expects an RBA rate cut as early as next month and newly released ABS unemployment figures may add fuel to their argument, thought the major bank’s direct competitors  appear to remain unmoved.

Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points (up to 5.7%) in June, heavily pushed by a decrease in the number of people engaged in full-time employment.

The ABS says the increase in total employment was mainly driven by increases in female part-time and male part-time employment.

However, NAB appears to be the odd one out when it comes to major lenders favouring and August RBA cut, with ANZ economist Justin Fabo telling ABC reporters there’s little sign the RBA will respond as such.

"While we have a rate cut pencilled in for later this year, a key question for the RBA is whether it waits a little longer to see if the lower Australian dollar and already low rates provide some support to the economy," he says.

"In addition, the timing of the federal election complicates things with the [RBA] wanting to steer well clear of the election if it indeed gauges that rates need to move lower."

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