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RBA's Lowe Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate at 1.5%
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 11:49 WIB | FISCAL & MONETARY |

The following is a reformatted version of a statement published Tuesday on the Reserve Bank of Australia's website, after Governor Philip Lowe and his board kept the overnight cash-rate target at 1.5 percent.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 percent.

The global economic expansion is continuing. A number of advanced economies are growing at an above-trend rate and unemployment rates are low. Growth in China has slowed a little, with the authorities easing policy while continuing to pay close attention to the risks in the financial sector. Globally, inflation remains low, although it has increased due to both higher oil prices and some lift in wages growth. A further pick-up in inflation is expected given the tight labor markets, and in the United States, the sizable fiscal stimulus. One ongoing uncertainty regarding the global outlook stems from the direction of international trade policy in the United States.

Financial conditions in the advanced economies remain expansionary, although they are gradually becoming less so in some countries. Yields on government bonds have moved a little higher, but credit spreads generally remain low. There has been a broad-based appreciation of the US dollar this year. In Australia, money-market interest rates are higher than they were at the start of the year, although they have declined since the end of June. In response, some lenders have increased their standard variable mortgage rates by small amounts, while at the same time reducing mortgage rates for some new loans.

The latest national accounts confirmed that the Australian economy grew strongly over the past year, with GDP increasing by 3.4 percent. The Bank™s central forecast remains for growth to average a bit above 3 percent in 2018 and 2019. Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is expected to increase. Higher levels of public infrastructure investment are also supporting the economy, as is growth in resource exports. One continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Growth in household income remains low and debt levels are high. The drought has led to difficult conditions in parts of the farm sector.

Source : Bloomberg

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