Finance Finance News RBA holds interest rates steady

RBA holds interest rates steady

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Melbourne Cup Day has not brought any relief for borrowers after the Reserve Bank of Australia left official interest rates unchanged.

The cash rate was left at 2.5 per cent, an historic low.

“At today’s meeting, the Board judged that the setting of monetary policy remained appropriate,” said the statement by governor Glenn Stevens.

“The Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target.”

All 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg tipped the cash rate would remain at an historic low of 2.5 per cent.

They were adamant there was no compelling case for any further cuts, given recent improvements in employment figures, retail sales and building approvals.

An interest rates strategist at JP Morgan, Sally Auld, said the RBA was well placed to leave interest rates unchanged for some time yet.

“Yesterday we had pretty good retail sales data, a number of the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) surveys across the manufacturing sector, the services sector and also construction have jumped quite a bit in the last couple of months,” she said.

“We’ve seen pretty strong building approvals numbers as well.

“So I think there’s enough for the RBA to point at to maybe get some sense that the overall setting of financial conditions is actually loose enough to start generating a better sense of momentum.”

She said the RBA’s current approach to monetary policy was more reactive than proactive.

“It needs to sit there and accumulate evidence that the economy needs some more stimulus and we think that process will probably take another three to four months,” she said.

Ms Auld said she was expecting the next official rate cut to take place next March.

The last time the Reserve Bank cut interest rates was in August.