Arab Today, arab today australia keeps rates on hold
Last Updated : GMT 16:49:39
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Arab Today, arab today

Australia keeps rates on hold

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Australia keeps rates on hold

Sydney - AFP

Australia's central bank on Tuesday kept interest rates at a record low 2.5 percent, citing only tentative improvement in non-mining sectors of the economy. The Reserve Bank of Australia foreshadowed a period of stability in the cash rate, in a statement whose wording was little changed from the previous month. The bank last cut rates in August in a bid to support the economy as a decade-long mining boom slows down "In the board's judgement, monetary policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target," it said. The Australian dollar rose to 93.12 US cents after the widely expected decision, from 92.82 cents immediately before. Last month the Australian Bureau of Statistics said consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in January-March from the previous three months, when it climbed 0.8 percent. In the year to March prices climbed 2.9 percent -- a tad down from 2.7 percent in January-December but within the central bank's 2.0-3.0 percent target. On Tuesday bank governor Glenn Stevens said recent information suggested "moderate growth" was occurring in consumer demand and forecast strong expansion in housing construction. "Some indicators of business conditions and confidence have improved from a year ago and exports are rising," he said. "But at the same time, resources sector investment spending is set to decline significantly. "And, at this stage, signs of improvement in investment intentions in other sectors are only tentative, as firms wait for more evidence of improved conditions before committing to expansion plans." Public spending was expected to be "subdued" while the bank said "it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently". Unemployment came in at 5.8 percent in March. "Looking ahead, continued accommodative monetary policy should provide support to demand, and help growth to strengthen over time. Inflation is expected to be consistent with the 2–3 percent target over the next two years," the bank added.

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