Rates on hold again

Jessica Darnbrough

At its Board meeting earlier today, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep the official cash rate on hold for the third consecutive month.

Speaking about the Board’s decision, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said it was “prudent” to keep the cash rate on hold at 3.5 per cent.

Mr Stevens said a spate of positive housing data allowed the Reserve Bank to be comfortable with the current monetary policy setting.

The Reserve Bank’s decision failed to shock industry stakeholders, including Loan Market Group’s company spokesperson Paul Smith.

“There have been some positive signs coming from the market and the feedback we are getting from our brokers is that spring could see a surge in activity,” Mr Smith said.

“Any notable lift in consumer confidence could also motivate lenders to offer some more competitive home loan deals.”

But while the Reserve Bank thought it prudent to leave the cash rate on hold for another month, Mr Smith said the RBA still had a lot more room to move than most of its central bank counterparts in other developed economies.

“Our cash rate remains one of the highest among the developed nations with interest rates in more than 40 countries below that of Australia,” he said.

“While that is a reflection of our economy’s resilience during the global financial crisis, consumers and struggling sectors such as retail would still prefer some more rate reductions from the RBA before the end of 2012.”

Jessica Darnbrough

At its Board meeting earlier today, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep the official cash rate on hold for the third consecutive month.

Speaking about the Board’s decision, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said it was “prudent” to keep the cash rate on hold at 3.5 per cent.

Mr Stevens said a spate of positive housing data allowed the Reserve Bank to be comfortable with the current monetary policy setting.

The Reserve Bank’s decision failed to shock industry stakeholders, including Loan Market Group’s company spokesperson Paul Smith.

“There have been some positive signs coming from the market and the feedback we are getting from our brokers is that spring could see a surge in activity,” Mr Smith said.

“Any notable lift in consumer confidence could also motivate lenders to offer some more competitive home loan deals.”

But while the Reserve Bank thought it prudent to leave the cash rate on hold for another month, Mr Smith said the RBA still had a lot more room to move than most of its central bank counterparts in other developed economies.

“Our cash rate remains one of the highest among the developed nations with interest rates in more than 40 countries below that of Australia,” he said.

“While that is a reflection of our economy’s resilience during the global financial crisis, consumers and struggling sectors such as retail would still prefer some more rate reductions from the RBA before the end of 2012.”

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