Market Update

Australians saw a modest rise in wages in the September quarter, giving the Reserve Bank of Australia scope to cut the cash rate further if need be.

Total hourly rates of pay, excluding bonuses, rose by a seasonally-adjusted 0.5 per cent in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Wage rates were 2.7 per cent higher than a year ago.

The figures show both wage growth and inflation remained under control, HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said.

“Wage growth has slowed substantially. It is consistent with the idea that the labour market is loose and there is very little inflationary pressure in the domestic economy,” he said.

The low inflation rate meant the RBA could cut the cash rate, currently at 2.5 per cent, if it needed to.

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