RBA keeps the cash rate on hold in August

RBA keeps the cash rate on hold in August

RBA keeps the cash rate on hold in August

However, with inflation sitting below the RBA's target of 2 per cent to 3 per cent (at 1.9 per cent), combined with ongoing concerns about sluggish wage growth (also at 1.9 per cent) and a stubbornly strong Australian dollar sitting just shy of 80 United States cents, the RBA board had no choice but to leave rates on hold. "The higher exchange rate is expected to contribute to subdued price pressures in the economy", Mr Lowe said.

The central bank's monetary policy statement is due 12:30pm HK/SIN. "With inflation low and particularly wages growth very low, there is no need to raise rates for at least two years". The economy is nearly out of the reversal of mining investment that had been weakening growth of late - another bonus.

Dr Lowe also said consumption remains a source of uncertainty for the economy. Retail sales have picked up recently, but slow growth in real wages and high levels of household debt are likely to constrain growth in spending.

Since the start of this year the Australian dollar is up almost 5% against the USA dollar - largely, the RBA noted, a result of weakness in the U.S. currency. The unemployment rate is expected to decline a little over the next couple of years.

They're expected to show continued solid jobs growth in the USA with 180,000 new jobs created in July and a fall in the unemployment rate, coupled with subdued wages growth.

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The recent inflation data were broadly as the Bank expected.

The Australian share market is expected to start the week higher, bouncing back from Friday's 1.4 per cent plunge on the back of concerns about the United States economy and the direction of U.S. government policy. The bank observed that it is also weighing on the outlook for output and employment. In his accompanying statement, Lowe said while the bank was sticking to its quarterly forecasts - which will be updated in three days' time - he also made it clear that further Aussie ascension will slow the track of economic growth and inflation.

The Reserve Bank signalled that it was not particularly anxious about housing prices, saying they were rising briskly in some markets, albeit more slowly. In the eastern capital cities, a considerable additional supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years.

The jump appeared to be largely driven by increased foreign demand for British goods as the weaker Pound makes good produced in the United Kingdom more attractive to overseas buyers. It pointed to a gradually improving economy, though rising household debt remained a concern.

"The Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time", he said.

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