Finance Finance News RBA holds rates despite weak economy

RBA holds rates despite weak economy

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The Reserve Bank has held the cash rate steady at 2 per cent at its October meeting, as widely expected by economists.

In the past week, ANZ forecast that two rate cuts would be delivered in the months ahead, though the bank did not forecast a cut in October.

Weak economic data is supporting ANZ’s call, with the trade deficit blowing out to $3.1 billion in data released on Tuesday, below-trend jobs growth, and annualised inflation still falling below the RBA’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent.

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The RBA has expressed concern several times in past months about property valuations in Melbourne and Sydney – another reason cited by economists for holding the overnight cash rate at the record low level of 2 per cent.

Announcing the decision, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement: “In Australia, the available information suggests that moderate expansion in the economy continues.

“While growth has been somewhat below longer-term averages for some time, it has been accompanied with somewhat stronger growth of employment and a steady rate of unemployment over the past year.”

Stevens addressed concerns over booming property prices by saying that “regulatory measures are helping to contain risks that may arise from the housing market.”

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