Finance Finance News RBA happier about the economy

RBA happier about the economy

Glenn Stevens
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The Reserve Bank has delivered an upbeat report on the health of the economy, but is not ruling out any future rate cuts.

The RBA cut the cash rate to a historic low of two per cent in May and has left it there at its subsequent meetings.

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In the minutes of its August meeting, released on Tuesday, the central bank said domestic economic activity had been more positive over recent months, helped by steady unemployment and the Australian dollar hitting six-year lows.

The exchange rate had fallen to its lowest level since 2009 in the past month, and further depreciation was expected to kickstart the economy through more competitive export prices, the bank said.

The Aussie has slipped five per cent against the greenback and four per cent against most of Australia’s major trading partners’ currencies during the past month.

While the central bank tipped non-mining investment to remain subdued for some time, it noted profits in this sector had increased and business conditions were above average.

The bank also said very low wage growth and slower population growth has kept a lid on unemployment, with the jobless rate to remain around current levels and could even decline further in the months ahead.

The property construction boom was still helping the economy, the bank said.

“Very low interest rates were continuing to support strong growth in dwelling investment and consumption,” the RBA said.

House prices are continuing to soar in Sydney and Melbourne, and the RBA expected a raft of measures imposed on the major banks by the regulator would reduce the risks of a housing bubble emerging if people defaulted on their loans.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has recently tightened lending conditions for investors to curb double digit growth in house prices.

But the RBA did not rule out a rate cut and said it will keep and eye on economic conditions to asses any future decisions.

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