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Australia Westpac Leading Index Rises In February

Australia’s leading index rose in February but remained in negative zone, data from Westpac showed on Wednesday.

The six-month annualized growth rate in the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future, rose to -0.25 percent in February from -0.5 percent in January.

While the growth rate lifted in February, the latest read remained in negative territory but only slightly below trend. Westpac expects strong trend growth in 2022.

After digesting a substantial lift in inflation in the March quarter on April 27 and further progress on wages growth which will be announced on May 18, Bill Evans, chief economist at Westpac said he expects the Board to move to a tightening bias over June and July prior to raising the cash rate by 0.15 percent on August 2.

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