September 11, 2019 / 1:34 AM / 3 months ago

Australia's NAB now sees two more rate cuts by Feb 2020

SYDNEY, Sept 11 (Reuters) - National Australia Bank on Wednesday revised its outlook for interest rate cuts by the country’s central bank, predicting at least two more easings to 0.5% by February from previous forecast of one cut.

NAB said a further reduction to 0.25% by mid-2020 was likely along with the adoption of non-conventional monetary policy measures unless Australia’s conservative government delivered “meaningful” fiscal stimulus.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has chopped interest rates twice since June to a record low of 1% and has shown willingness to do more if needed to revive growth and inflation.

“The forecast of lower interest rates reflects increased downside risks to the domestic economy and greater uncertainty about the world economy,” NAB said in a statement.

“Importantly, we continue to see the need for additional fiscal stimulus, through new infrastructure investment, cash hand-outs and/or the pull-forward of tax cuts.”

A survey released earlier in the day showed Australian consumers had turned more pessimistic as concerns about the near-term economic outlook weighed.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Sam Holmes

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