RBA’s Debelle sounds bullish note on economy

Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle has underscored the signs of fresh momentum across the Australian economy as the country’s two largest cities exit prolonged lockdowns.

“The signs we are seeing in the economy at least as New South Wales and Victoria come out of their lockdowns” reflects “strong underlying momentum,” he said during a Thursday Senate estimates hearing.

“We have to see how it unfolds as we’ve only just emerged here in the last week or two. Much of what we are seeing is positive,” he said.

Dr Debelle pointed to the role of higher fuel prices, which was widely expected given the global squeeze on energy commodities, in addition to housing and construction costs in pushing consumer prices higher in data released on Wednesday.

The deputy governor also identified higher rates of savings among households and businesses that could offer a further spurt of activity across the economy.

“How those buffers and savings get deployed is another thing we will keep a pretty close eye on,” he said.

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