Aussie wage growth slows

The Wage Price Index advanced 4.1% in the first quarter from a year earlier. — Reuters

SYDNEY: Australian wage growth eased for the first time since the depths of the pandemic in the first three months of the year, in a positive result for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which remains watchful of price pressures in the economy.

The Wage Price Index advanced 4.1% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the first slowing since the fourth quarter of 2020 and just below economists’ estimate of 4.2%, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed yesterday.

On a quarterly basis, wages grew 0.8% versus a forecast 0.9%.

The report reinforced speculation that the RBA could cut rates at the end of this year, with money markets pricing a 36% chance of an easing in December from 30% earlier.

The RBA has kept its benchmark interest rate at a 12-year high of 4.35% since late last year.

The RBA’s board is closely monitoring inflation and the labour market, with employment data due tomorrow and economists anticipating the jobless rate edged higher in April. — Bloomberg

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