Strong data boosts Australian dollar

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The Australian dollar is powering ahead in today’s trading session after another strong round of economic data marked the second time this week that news has come in above expectations.

On Monday, the retail sales figure from Australia came in at 0.4 percent against analysts’ expectations for a figure of 0.2 percent and well above the previous month’s figure of 0 percent.

GDP figures released earlier today hit the market at 3.1 percent against expectations for a figure of 2.9 percent marking the highest level in 6 years.

The most important thing was the 3.1 percent figure came earlier than the reserve Bank expected which led some to speculate the central bank may put a rate hike on the table in the nearest future but others are not so sure.

"Private consumption nearly 60% of GDP was feeble in this report and fuels ongoing concerns about a household credit crunch curbing spending going forward. The RBA adds to these concerns by regularly claiming that the outlook for consumption is the Bank’s main source of “uncertainty”," says Annette Beacher, chief Asia Pacific macro strategist at TD Securities.

"3% GDP growth now may be a little early for the RBA as the mid-year projection was 2¾% but the Bank has been saying for a while that GDP will be just over 3% this year and next. We need inflation and wages growth to get them to budge off their neutral perch." She added.

The RBA sounded quite content yesterday to leave rates on hold in their statement after their latest interest rate decision but were caught off guard by today’s strong GDP numbers, which will give them something to ponder over in the run up to next month’s rate decision

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