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THE NEWS WRAP: Economists downplay pre-election rate cut prospects

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Leading economists say a further rate cut is unlikely when the Reserve Bank meets today, with any future rate cuts likely to be influenced by inflation figures rather than politics.


“Maybe after the next CPI data, there could be a move to cut rates, but you'd have to have much higher unemployment rates. I don't think the election cycle is of relevance to their decision-making," Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman says.


“I mean they've always been pretty clear about the economic issues that they look at and those issues around the direction that the currency is moving and the level of it, and they don't generally consider the political cycle at all.”


Online spending up 14.2% in one year


Online spending has grown by 14.2% to $14.1 billion in the year to July, with Australian retailers accounting for 73% of online spending, according to NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index.


Online retail now accounts for 6.3% of all retail spending in Australia.


"Some people would have thought the international sales would slow significantly because of the lower currency, but it doesn't seem to have had an effect yet, despite the fact that it flows through to prices instantaneously," NAB chief economist Alan Oster says.


In the red: Penfolds Grange now available at Aldi


Low-cost retailer Aldi is making a major push into the liquor market, adding the 2008 vintage Penfolds Grange to its catalogue for $649.


The move comes a month after the discount supermarket began selling liquor online.


The move prompted a quick response from Woolworths-owned rival Dan Murphy’s, which is now pricing its 2008 Grange at $648.90 a bottle.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to 14810.31. The Aussie dollar is down to US89.98 cents.