Australian Producer Prices Fall More Than Expected on Stronger Currency

In Australia, the [B]Producer Prices Index[/B] fell more than economists expected, shedding -0.8% in the second quarter to bring the annual pace of wholesale inflation to 2.1%, the lowest in 5 years. A stronger Australian Dollar was the likely catalyst behind the result: the Aussie added a whopping 10.4% in the three months through June, making imports cheaper in terms of the domestic currency. Slower PPI growth foreshadows downward pressure on consumer inflation in the months ahead as cheaper wholesale costs are passed on via a lower final price tag. This bolsters the case for additional rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Indeed, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said as much even as the bank kept rates unchanged in July, noting that “the outlook for inflation allows some scope for further easing of monetary policy.”