Finance Finance News Interest rates left on hold by Reserve Bank
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Interest rates left on hold by Reserve Bank

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The RBA is singing the same tune as it has all year – the economy’s growth rate is below normal, unemployment won’t fall for a while and the Aussie dollar is too high for comfort.

Oh, and interest rates are staying right where they are.

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After the central bank board’s November monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens issued the usual terse statement outlining the reasons for its decision.

And, although there are always subtle variations and sifts of emphasis from month to month, it read much the same as all the other statements issued this year.

That includes the conclusion that’s become something of a mantra: “On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates”.

The RBA said it expects economic growth to be “a little below trend for the next several quarters” and, consequently, that “it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently”.

A big part of the reason for that uninspiring outlook is the Australian dollar. It has fallen recently – but not enough.

“The Australian dollar remains above most estimates of its fundamental value, particularly given the further declines in key commodity prices in recent months,” the RBA said.

“It is offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy.”

The RBA could bring the Aussie dollar down by cutting the cash rate further, but at the risk of stoking a housing market that’s already getting a bit too hot.

So, the RBA is doing what it’s been doing since it last cut the cash rate, in August 2013 – sitting back and waiting.

AAP

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