Mining leads fall in business turnover

·3-min read

Mining and manufacturing businesses have reported significant falls in turnover.

The 10.1 per cent fall in mining turnover followed seven consecutive months of rises due to surging commodity prices in the first half of the year.

"The mining industry saw the largest percentage fall in business turnover in July, from its recent peak in June, in line with lower coal and iron ore exports in July," Australian Bureau of Statistics head of business indicators Kate Lamb said.

Manufacturing industry turnover also sunk by 3.8 per cent in July off the back of five consecutive lifts.

The ABS suggested supply chain disruptions and labour shortages were partly to blame for the manufacturing industry's slide.

There were falls in seven of the 13 industries measured by the indicator.

Electricity, gas, water and waste services reported the highest lift, of five per cent.

Following a speech by the head of the Reserve Bank about the state of the economy and the challenge of reining in inflation, some of the big banks have updated their interest rate forecasts.

In the speech, RBA governor Philip Lowe noted the case for a slower pace of tightening was becoming "stronger".

This follows a 50 basis point rate hike on Tuesday, marking the fifth consecutive lift in the cash rate.

ANZ economists have since updated their cash rate predictions, noting that the central bank is approaching a point where it will ease the size of its increases.

The bank's economists still expect a peak cash rate of 3.35 per cent but believe it will take longer to get there.

They see 50 basis point lift coming October, despite many economist tipping a 25bp lift next month, followed by 25pb rises in November and December.

They said the governor's speech and comments earlier in the week did not rule out another super-sized hike in October.

"Lowe talked about the 'scourge' of inflation and Tuesday's statement said 'price stability is prerequisite for a strong economy'," the economists said.

They noted that the RBA would be guided by incoming data, such as unemployment figures next week.

Economists at the other major banks expect a slower pace of tightening next month.

Westpac economists predict four 25bp consecutive lifts to a 3.35 per cent peak in February.

The bank then expects the RBA to hold steady until the end of 2023 as inflation simmers back within the central bank's target range of two to three per cent

Both NAB and Commonwealth Bank economists expect 25bps lifts in both October and November - taking the cash rate to a 2.85 per cent peak - and then a pause.

This comes as Australia approaches a "cliff" of expiring fixed interest rate home loans.

While households on fixed-rate mortgages have so far been insulated from rising interest rates, $158 billion of fixed-rate mortgages are set to expire by the end of 2023.

A study by Finder found thousands of Australian borrowers could end up in mortgage stress by the end of the year when their fixed-term mortgages expired.

"This is a very significant spike in repayments that many will simply not be able to afford," Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said.