The latter would make sense, because the Sydney Morning Herald notes a Surprise Jump in Unemployment to 6.4 Percent.
The figures were well below expectations, and the Australian dollar plunged more than half a US cent, to US76.63 cents.
The Reserve Bank of Australia highlighted its concerns about continuing softness in the jobs market last week, when it cut the cash rate for the first time in 18 months.
Thursday’s result is likely to ramp up speculation about a second cut within months.
“While the market had expected some weakening in labour force conditions in January after the surprisingly good figures in December, the increase in the unemployment rate to 6.4 per cent was worse than feared,” said ANZ’s co-head of Australian economics Riki Polygenis.
“This is a new peak for the unemployment rate, with the previous peak at 6.3 per cent in October and November following revisions.
CommSec chief economist Craig James agreed.
“On the basis of the continued softness of the job market, there seems no barrier to the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates again at the March board meeting,” he said.
“Simply, Australia is growing at a far slower rate than its potential.”
I suggest it is impossible to accurately come up with such a number. But given they have, I will take the “under” for quite some time.
For more on the misery down under, please see Australia Coming Apart at the Seams.