Australian interest rate hike likely in Nov, say Westpac economists

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Economists at Westpac now expect Australian interest rates to rise further in November, the latest bank to change its steady outlook following surprisingly high inflation figures.

Westpac Chief Economist Luci Ellis said the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) was now likely to lift its cash rate by a quarter point to 4.35% at its next meeting on Nov. 7, changing her earlier call for a steady outlook.

“Inflation is declining, but not fast enough for the RBA to hold rates unchanged,” said Ellis, who until recently was the head of economics at the RBA. “It is going to be a finely balanced decision and a decision to hold still can’t be ruled out entirely.”

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Jamie Freed)