AUD/USD Lower After the January Employment Report Showed Jobs Down, Unemployment Rate Up

It’s the second month in a row of job losses. If job losses continue, the Reserve Bank of Australia is in a bit of a bind. The Bank does not want to tip Australia into recession and must address shockingly high inflation. Its cash rate is deeply negative.

The Bank’s hand was forced at its February meeting. Surging inflation made the +25bp rate hike a sure thing. Anything less than that would have been the Bank shirking its responsibility to stable prices.

Looking ahead, the next official quarterly CPI report for Q1 2023 is due on the 26th of April, although there will be two monthly inflation reports by then. The quarterly data is the ‘official’ account of inflation. By the 26th of April, there will have been two other job reports (on the 16th of March and the 20th of April).

If (IF!) monthly inflation comes in a little tamer, the Bank may take this time, and incoming data, to assess and consider its next move. The Reserve Bank of Australia meetings ahead are on the 7th of March, 4th of April, and 2nd of May. RBA meets the first Tuesday of each month except in January.

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