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In exactly a week the Reserve Bank will be concluding another policy meeting. On the face of it, this one should be a simpler affair than the September meeting when policymakers were split by one vote, in favour of staying put. The good news is that a rate increase, which seemed more likely than not a few months ago, can now more or less be ruled out. While the external environment hasn’t suddenly become rosy, it does have a more serene feel to it. For one thing, currency collapses and emergency rate hikes from Turkey to Argentina are no longer dominating the conversation. There is reason to be concerned about headlines coming out of Europe and the potential for some market discomfort. Italy, the euro area’s biggest debtor nation, is at odds with the European Commission over its budget, with a risk that the populists in charge in Rome won’t back away from their war of words with Brussels, a vote-winning strategy, even if economically costly. While nobody is expecting another full-bl...

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