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No Festive Interest Rate Cheer

Dec 3, 2019 5:43:06 PM

As expected by the majority of commentators, the RBA today decided to leave the cash rate at its current record low of 0.75%, this despite many economists pushing for yet another cut, as weak consumer spending and stagnant wage growth continues to keep a lid on business investment, jobs numbers, and inflation. In stark contrast to these economic indicators, the national property index experienced its biggest jump in 16 years over the past month.

In his announcement today, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe stated –

The outlook for the global economy remains reasonable. While the risks are still tilted to the downside, some of these risks have lessened recently.


After a soft patch in the second half of last year, the Australian economy appears to have reached a gentle turning point. The central scenario is for growth to pick up gradually to around 3 per cent in 2021.


There are further signs of a turnaround in established housing markets. This is especially so in Sydney and Melbourne, but prices in some other markets have also increased recently. In contrast, new dwelling activity is still declining and growth in housing credit remains low.


The easing of monetary policy this year is supporting employment and income growth in Australia and a return of inflation to the medium-term target range. The lower cash rate has put downward pressure on the exchange rate, which is supporting activity across a range of industries.


Given these effects of lower interest rates and the long and variable lags in the transmission of monetary policy, the Board decided to hold the cash rate steady at this meeting while it continues to monitor developments, including in the labour market. The Board also agreed that due to both global and domestic factors, it was reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required in Australia to reach full employment and achieve the inflation target. The Board is prepared to ease monetary policy further if needed to support sustainable growth in the economy, full employment and the achievement of the inflation target over time.

To read the full statement, go to

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