Australian recession takes centre stage


After the inflation shocker a few days ago, the outlook for a deeper Australian recession is taking shape.

It will be driven by two extra interest rate hikes in the next two months, ensuring that house prices continue to fall fast and households experience a material asset price shock with consumption to follow.

It was not that the inflation print was worse than the RBA expected. It was actually slightly better at the headline rate:


What will spook the bank is how broad-based the price rises. The Trimmed Mean was 6.9% versus the 6.5% expected and December monthly inflation erased nearly any sense of a peak. Alex Joiner:

25bps in the next two meetings is all but guaranteed. There is a strong case for the RBA to revert to 50bps hikes in these numbers.


Will they? I doubt it. Why? The fixed-rate mortgage reset means so much pain is yet to arrive:

What this conundrum presents is a higher volatility cycle. The RBA has to keep hiking on the inflation overshoot even though the economy is clearly slowing fast and embedded mortgage tightening is going to smash into households over the next six months.


This clearly raises the prospect of a rates overshoot and a sudden stop for the economy later this year.

Australian recession is taking center stage.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.