-David Kuo, Director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Go on. Admit it. You didn’t see it coming, did you? You never thought a member of the G20 nations would dare to break ranks and raise interest rates this soon.
But Australia has done just that. The Central Bank of Australia has increased the cost of borrowing by 0.25 percent to 3.25 percent. It is doing what it thinks is right for the country regardless of what the rest may think. Now, Asian countries, keen to avert another bubble, may follow Australia’s lead and ratchet up interest rates before long.
Of course, Australia’s economy is vastly different to the UK’s. It has huge deposits of iron, aluminium and nickel that are in demand by mineral-hungry China. That said, Australia did briefly flirt with a downturn, which it successfully corrected with 21 billion pounds of fiscal stimulus.
But the UK is not Australia. We do not have huge deposits of mineral, and we are not near fasting-growing Asian countries either. What we do have are consumers saddled with over a trillion pounds of debt following a decade of binge borrowing, and a national debt burden of similar magnitude.
Therefore, it is unlikely that we will experience demand-led inflation. In fact, consumers are saving more of their household income than they have done for eight years.