Westpac predicts rate cut

Staff Reporter

Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans has shocked the market by forecasting a series of interest rate cuts.

Mr Evans said low consumer sentiment could force the Reserve Bank of Australia to slash the official cash rate by up to 1 per cent in 2012.

“We were all talking not long ago that rates could go up, but if the consumer remains subdued there may be interest rate reductions and if that occurs that would be a very strong stimulus for the consumer to save less and spend a little bit more,” he said.

But it seems not everyone shares Mr Evans’ view on rates.

Last week ANZ’s head of Australian economics and property research Ivan Colhoun said he expects the Reserve Bank to keep the official cash rate on hold at 4.75 per cent until February 2012, when it will start raising rates again.

Staff Reporter

Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans has shocked the market by forecasting a series of interest rate cuts.

Mr Evans said low consumer sentiment could force the Reserve Bank of Australia to slash the official cash rate by up to 1 per cent in 2012.

“We were all talking not long ago that rates could go up, but if the consumer remains subdued there may be interest rate reductions and if that occurs that would be a very strong stimulus for the consumer to save less and spend a little bit more,” he said.

But it seems not everyone shares Mr Evans’ view on rates.

Last week ANZ’s head of Australian economics and property research Ivan Colhoun said he expects the Reserve Bank to keep the official cash rate on hold at 4.75 per cent until February 2012, when it will start raising rates again.

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