Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe warns Australian borrowers to prepare for more interest rate rises


Australia’s most powerful banker issues a chilling warning to homeowners to be prepared for MORE interest rate pain – and it could be at least YEARS: ‘It will start to bite’

  • Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe warning of higher interest rates
  • He said it would be at least two years before inflation back to 2-3 per cent target 

Australia’s most powerful banker is urging borrowers to prepare for more interest rates rises with inflation expected to remain high for several more years.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe said it would be at least two years before the inflation fell back within its two to three per cent target.

This would mean several more interest rate rises in 2022 before inflation peaked later this year at the highest level in 32 years, eroding the savings of borrowers.

‘As interest rates start to rise, those buffers will be eaten into and the fact that households have more debt than they used to, it will start to bite,’ Dr Lowe told the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia on Tuesday.  

‘We’re very conscious of that.’ 

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe said it would be at least two years before the inflation fell back within its two to three per cent target

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe said it would be at least two years before the inflation fell back within its two to three per cent target

New Commonwealth Bank forecasts on RBA cash rate

JULY: Up 0.5 percentage points to 1.35 per cent

AUGUST: Up 0.25 percentage points to 1.6 per cent

SEPTEMBER: Up 0.25 percentage points to 1.85 per cent

NOVEMBER: Up 0.25 percentage points to 2.1 per cent

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Dr Lowe last week predicted inflation would hit seven per cent by the end of 2022 for the first time since late 1990.

Headline inflation in the year to March surged by 5.1 per cent – the fastest pace since 2001. 

The Reserve Bank in May raised the cash rate by 0.25 percentage points, marking the first increase since November 2010. 

This ended the era of the record-low 0.1 per cent cash rate, taking it to 0.35 per cent. 

Another rate rise followed in June, with the 0.5 percentage point increase the steepest since February 2000. 

The existing cash rate of 0.85 per cent is now the highest since October 2019 before the pandemic. 

The RBA minutes of that June meeting, released on Tuesday, noted the board was concerned about wage pressures with unemployment in May remaining at a 48-year low of 3.9 per cent.

‘Labour market conditions were the tightest they had been in many years and wage pressures were emerging,’ it said.

The Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s biggest home lender, is expecting another half a percentage point rate rise in July.

This would be followed by 0.25 percentage point increases in August, September and November, taking the cash rate to 2.1 per cent – the highest May 2015.

How much YOU could be paying on your mortgage by Christmas

$500,000: Up $485 from $1,987 to $2,472

$600,000: Up $582 from $2,384 to $2,966

$700,000: Up $679 from $2,781 to $3,460

$800,000: Up $777 from $3,178 to $3,955

$900,000: Up $874 from $3,575 to $4,449

$1,000,000: Up $970 from $3,973 to $4,943

The monthly repayment calculations are based on a typical Commonwealth Bank variable rate rising from 2.54 per cent to 4.29 per cent in line with the cash rate moving from 0.35 per cent to 2.1 per cent. Figures relate to banks before they adjust to new 0.85 per cent cash rate later this month

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