RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has released the text of another speech, this time to business leaders in Toowoomba. And so it’s time for analysts, pundits, commentators and generally interested persons to pick over his themes, his words and the general vibe of the thing, to try and second-guess what the Reserve Bank of Australia will do to interest rates next month.
As always, there’s something for everyone. References to good economic news and references to risks and uncertainties. If you want to predict that rates will go up in May, you can quote him on the speed of the rate cuts in 2008/9 and suggest that he’s paving the way for faster rather than slower increases. If you want to predict that the RBA will pause in May and leave rates steady, you can quote him on the need to leave flexibility in how we respond to the way the recovery unfolds. And there’s plenty each way in his analysis of the global economic recovery.
But look closer. We’ve found an ingenious code hidden in the speeches of the RBA Governor. And an astonishing truth… unveiled at last!
He tells us that, when responding to the GFC, the RBA cut rates by 375 basis points over 5 months. And that so far, they’ve responded to the recovery by increasing them by 125 basis points over 7 months, “…which is still only about a third the pace of the earlier declines.” Now 375 over 5 equals 75, but notice that 125 over 7 is well short of a third of this – it is not even a quarter! Rather than a numerical error, this is actually a clue. To get to exactly one-third, you need 200 over 8… and a 75 basis point increase in May would do exactly that! Unbelievable!
A 75 basis point increase next month is a shocking conclusion, well outside what most observers predict, but one clearly supported by the clever trail of clues he has left. But, rest assured that this would be the final increase: his speech contains 3133 words, and 3+1+3+3 = 10, and 1+0=1, ie he’s telling us that there is just one last rate rise.
Silly? Yes, but it is no less scientific than some other predictions people make from picking apart his speeches for clues. The RBA has told us clearly that there is likely to be a little bit more to go, but that the timing is up in the air. That’s all the clues they are going to give us. Maybe May, maybe June, maybe both, maybe neither.
So instead of predicting what the RBA might do, here at Mozo we’ll keep our eyes on what financial providers do in response. Every month, Mozo’s Rate Chasers update Reserve Bank interest rates with information about home loan rate rises as it comes in. And of course, you can find everything you need in our extensive database of rates, fees and features, for home loans, credit cards, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and bank accounts.
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