ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott has backed the case for cutting official interest rates to a new record low, saying this would boost economic activity and give “breathing space” to people struggling to make their home loan repayments.
As ANZ notched up a $3.5 billion profit on Wednesday, Mr Elliott said the economy was slowing, despite still being in “good shape” overall. Although unemployment was low, he pointed to the absence of any inflation in the March quarter, and said there were signs that “maybe a rate cut would be a good thing”.
“Maybe it will just give a bit of juice into the economy, and get a bit more employment, and put a bit of money back into people’s pockets. And what would that do? Well, it would mean people have a little bit more to spend, it would mean that those customers who are struggling in terms of their mortgage would probably get a bit more breathing space,” Mr Elliott told journalists.
“So I think the arguments for a small rate cut are sound, but I don’t have the data that the RBA does in terms of what’s really happening out there in the entire economy, so I can’t really comment on whether it’s a good thing or not for today.”