On Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia launched the New Payments Platform (NPP). The NPP is an important addition to Australia’s payments infrastructure and it will provide a platform for innovation and competition and greater efficiencies in the provision of payment services. This will allow financial institutions to provide improved services to Australian businesses and consumers, including; real-time payments, transfers on a 24/7 basis as well as increasing the capacity of information along with payments.

In Australia the run of strong employment gains continued in January with another 16,000 jobs added, resulting in the unemployment rate falling to 5.5% from 5.6%.

In the US Jerome Powell has been sworn in as the new Federal Reserve Bank Chair and Adrian Orr picked as new Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor. In February, it is likely Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda to be reappointed and Spanish Economy Minister de Guindos to be chosen as the ECB’s Vice President. The recent and upcoming changes in advanced economy central bank leadership imply much continuity in near-term policies, but may be more relevant for policy changes in 2019