In this section, we look at the economic news affecting global markets this week.
- RBA Minutes this week revealed a concerned central bank that is uncertain when wages will begin to grow again and whether it will take longer for wages to boost inflation. Headline and trimmed mean inflation had both been 1.8% over the year to the September quarter, broadly in line. The RBA’s expectation for underlying inflation to remain slightly below 2% in the near term, before increasing gradually to 2%. Conditions in the established housing market had eased in all major cities, but had remained relatively strong in Melbourne. The RBA left rates at a record low of 1.5% at its November meeting.
- The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future, increased from –0.02% in September to +0.44% in October.
- Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen says she will step down from its board of governors once her successor is sworn into office. Jerome Powell must be confirmed by the Senate before assuming his new role. He will be in place when her four year term as Fed chief ends in February.
- New orders for key US made capital goods fell in October following three months of gains.
- The US economy did show signs of life after the number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits fell. All signs point to the Fed being on track to raise rates next month.
- Euro zone inflation moved back below the ECB’s target rate, coming in at 1.4% in October down from 1.5% in September. It rose 0.1% in the month revised down from 0.4%. The revisions was in line with expectations. The ECB targets inflation of 2%.
- New home prices rose at a faster rate in October. Data showed that the average new home prices rose 0.3% month-on-month in October up from September’s 0.2% rise. New home prices were up 5.4% year-on-year in October, down from September’s 6.3%.