MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – [January 16, 2024]

AMT Management PTY Ltd, a prominent investment firm headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, is closely monitoring the economic landscape and the trajectory of interest rates in Australia for 2024. As Australians grapple with the financial challenges brought about by elevated interest rates, AMT Management provides valuable insights into the potential direction of monetary policy in the country.

Simon Grayson, Senior Partner of the Fixed Income department at AMT Management, commented, “The Reserve Bank of Australia’s 18-month monetary tightening cycle has led to a notable impact on consumers and businesses. The Australian economy has faced headwinds, with business confidence hitting an 11-year low and consumer sentiment being affected by rising borrowing costs and elevated prices.”

James Rowling, Senior Partner of the Fixed Income department at AMT Management, added, “The persistence of high inflation has been a primary driver behind the series of interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank. While the central bank has taken steps to combat inflation, we continue to observe inflation rates above the target band of 2% to 3%.”

Grayson further stated, “The recent data flow, including monthly inflation, labor market indicators, and GDP, suggests that monetary policy is beginning to have the intended impact on the Australian economy. However, the central bank’s decisions this year will depend on evolving economic data and associated risks.”

According to Richard Manor, Senior Advisor at AMT Management, “Our central scenario is that the Reserve Bank is done and will not need to lift rates further. But if there are surprises on the upside for inflation or if the risks for inflation not reaching the target by end-2025 grow, that could change the bank’s most likely move to a further hike.”

As Australian households navigate the challenges posed by higher interest rates, AMT Management acknowledges the difficulties they face. William Stanley, Senior Advisor at AMT Management, said, “At the current cash rate, things will be challenging for Australian households this year, and household consumption is the biggest downside risk for the Australian economy next year.”

AMT Management is also keeping an eye on the possibility of rate cuts in the future. Manor remarked, “For rate cuts, we’d need to see inflation under-shoot or a growing belief that the economic outlook is perilous. My view is the household sector represents a considerable downside risk to the economic outlook and will trigger increased discussion about rate cuts during the second half of next year.”

The impact of global developments, particularly the decisions of the US Federal Reserve, is also being considered. However, it is emphasized that domestic factors will primarily influence Australia’s interest rate trajectory.

When interest rates eventually start to decrease, economists differ on the extent and timing of rate cuts in 2024. AMT Management anticipates that the decline will likely be gradual, with varying opinions on the magnitude of potential rate cuts.

Grayson concluded, “AMT Management remains committed to providing our clients with informed insights and investment strategies tailored to the evolving economic environment. We will continue to closely follow the developments in Australian monetary policy and their implications for investors.”