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Financial News: Australia's Leading Index Signals Weak Economic Momentum

Australia's Leading Index Signals Weak Economic Momentum

11/19/2019 - 23:20:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's leading index rose moderately in October but it remained below trend suggesting weak economic momentum carrying well into 2020, the Westpac reported Wednesday.

The six-month annualized growth rate in 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 to -0.91 percent in October from -1.01 percent in September.

Nonetheless, the leading index growth rate deteriorated over the last six months to -0.91 percent in October from -0.53 percent in May.

The main components driving the 0.39 percentage point shift were a sell-off in commodity prices, a more mixed performance on the Australian share market, a deterioration in consumers' unemployment expectations, in consumer expectations more generally and a slowdown in monthly hours worked.

Westpac expects the Reserve Bank of Australia to hold the cash rate steady at its next meeting on December 3.

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