Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Australia’s interest rates stay on hold for 4th straight month

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday decided to leave the cash rate target unchanged at 4.10 per cent for the fourth month in a row, with the interest rate paid on Exchange Settlement balances also steady at 4 per cent.

Having hosted her first monetary policy meeting as the central bank’s governor, Michele Bullock said in a statement that higher interest rates are working to establish a more sustainable balance between supply and demand, reports Xinhua news agency.

Despite the fact that inflation in Australia is “still too high” and will remain so for some time, the governor underlined that recent data are consistent with the forecast of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) returning to its 2 per cent to 3 per cent target range in late 2025.

“Inflation is coming down, the labour market remains strong and the economy is operating at a high level of capacity utilisation, although growth has slowed,” said Bullock.

The RBA began a string of rate hikes in May last year, lifting the cash rate target from a record-low 0.1 per cent to 4.10 per cent in June this year.

After peaking at 7.8 per cent in December last year, the annual CPI inflation dropped to 6 per cent in the June quarter of 2023.

Meanwhile, according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the monthly Consumer Price Index indicator rose 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to August 2023, up from 4.9 per cent in July, but remained below the peak of 8.4 per cent in December 2022.

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