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Cash Rates Stay at 2.5%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced today that it will maintain cash rates at 2.5%. According to his statement, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said that the current monetary policy is "appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target." Thus, the Board concluded that keeping rates in the foreseeable future is "the most prudent course".

The statement differed little from what the RBA said in the previous months. First, they noted the accommodative financial conditions worldwide. They also added that the United States and the European Union, and Japan are showing signs of growth and recovery. Meanwhile, growth in China "remains in line" with the objectives of policymakers.

In Australia, Mr Stevens pointed out the "slightly firmer" consumer demand in the country, which is a sign of "a solid expansion in housing construction." There are also improvements in the country's business conditions and confidence, as well as its number of exports. The RBA also maintained that investments in the resources sector are "set to decline significantly." Although there are signs of increasing investment from other sectors, Mr Stevens said that that is only tentative. All in all, he said, "public spending is scheduled to be subdued."

There is also the continued rise in the country's unemployment rate, and a decline in the growth in wages. "If domestic costs remain contained, some moderation in the growth of prices for non-traded goods could be expected over time, which should keep inflation consistent with the target, even with lower levels of the exchange rate."

The RBA expects that the unemployment rate will continue to rise. In the long term, however, they expect growth to strengthen with the aid of low interest and exchange rates. They also foresee the inflation rate to remain with their 2-3% target in the next two years.

Meanwhile in other areas, here is what Mr Stevens had to say:

"Monetary policy remains accommodative. Interest rates are very low and savers continue to look for higher returns in response to low rates on safe instruments. Credit growth remains low overall but is picking up gradually for households. Dwelling prices have increased significantly over the past year. The decline in the exchange rate seen to date will assist in achieving balanced growth in the economy, though the exchange rate remains high by historical standards."

Cash Rate in Australia Stays at 2.5%

Governor Glenn Stevens of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced earlier today that the Bank would maintain rates at 2.5%. 

The RBA, which met for the first time this year, generally delivered the same statement it had over the past few months. 

However, absent from the statement was the RBA's thoughts on the Australian dollar. During a number of his previous statements, Governor Stevens said that the dollar remained 'uncomfortably high'. Rather, he focused on the growth in the country's consumer demand, in housing construction, and its economy in general. In addition, he said that there is some improvement in indicators of business conditions and confidence.

The RBA's outlook on the country's economy and unemployment remained consistent with its previous statements. Governor Stevens had this to say:

"[W]ith resources sector investment spending set to decline significantly, considerable structural change occurring and lingering uncertainty in some areas of the business community, near-term prospects for business investment remain subdued. The demand for labour has remained weak and, as a result, the rate of unemployment has continued to edge higher. Growth in wages has declined noticeably."

The Governor also noted the higher-than-expected increase in inflation in December. He said that it may be due in part to the faster than expected effects of the lower exchange rate. He noted, however, that "domestic prices also continued to rise at a solid pace, despite slower growth in labour costs."

Cash Rate Stays at 2.5%, AUD Still Uncomfortably High

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced that it would maintain rates at 2.5%. The announcement was made by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens through a statement. Today's meeting is the last for the RBA this year. The next one will be in February 2014.

In his statement, Governor Stevens said that the Australian economy has been growing "a bit below trend", as the country adjusts to lower levels of mining investment. While the RBA hopes that other industries would pick up after the mining sector, the Governor said that "considerable uncertainty surrounds this outlook".

There has been an improvement in terms of household and business sentiment, but Governor Stevens mentioned that "it is still unclear how persistent this will be".

As for inflation, it is "consistent with the medium-term target". The RBA expects it to remain that way in the next 1-2 years.

The full effects of the RBA's monetary policy are still coming through, according to the Governor. Although there have been signs of increased demand for finance by households, he said that "the pace of borrowing has remained relatively subdued".

Governor Stevens also made mention of the Australian dollar's current value. As with previous statements, the he said that the bank still sees it as "uncomfortably high".

Overall, today's statement differed little from previous ones given out over the past few months.

Some analysts say that the 2.5% interest rate would remain throughout the rest of 2014, which would then be followed by an interest rate hike some time in the first half of 2015. However, it is still too early to find out whether it is the case or not.

RBA Keeps Cash Rate Unchanged

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement today that the RBA decided to keep rates unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

Not much has changed in the statement as compared to Mr Stevens' previous ones. For one, he said that unemployment in Australia continues to rise. "This is likely to persist in the near term, as the economy adjusts to lower levels of mining investment."

Meanwhile, inflation is well within the RBA's medium-term target. They expect it to remain so in the next one to two years.

Despite the rounds of rate cuts over the past few years, Mr Stevens said that: "[t]he full effects of these decisions are still coming through and will be for a while yet."

Demand for finance by households grew, even if in general, borrowing is "subdued". This means that more and more Australians have been taking advantage of the low rates that were the consequence of the cuts made by the RBA.

A slight difference in previous statements is in the Reserve Bank's growing concern over the value of the Australian dollar. Mr Stevens said that: "while below its level earlier in the year, is still uncomfortably high". He added that: "a lower level of the exchange rate is likely to be needed to achieve balanced growth in the economy". He did not explain further how the RBA will plans to achieve this.

In closing, the Governor had this to say: "[a]t today's meeting, the Board judged that the setting of monetary policy remained appropriate. The Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target."

This could mean that the RBA would still consider further rounds of cuts in the future as needed. Of course, an increase in rates cannot be discounted entirely as well.

RBA Keeps Rate at 2.5%

Once again, the Reserve Bank decided to maintain the cash rate at 2.5%.

Little has changed in the RBA’s statement, which was delivered by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens.

According to Mr Stevens, Australia’s economy, “has been growing a bit below trend over the past year.” As with earlier statements, he said that the RBA expects this to continue due to the “lower levels of mining investment”. He also mentioned the increasing unemployment, and that inflation “has been consistent with the medium-term target.”

The Governor also mentioned that there has been an improvement in household and business sentiment indicators, although he said it is “too soon” to determine if the trend will persist.

As for the RBA’s easing in monetary policy over the past two years, he said it has helped “interest-sensitive spending and asset values”. But Mr Stevens said that the full effects of these decisions are still coming through, and will be for a while yet.” He added that the pace of borrowing “remained relatively subdued”, and that there is “a shift in savers’ behaviour in response to declining returns on low-risk assets.”

Also, the RBA still prefers a weaker Australian dollar. “A lower level of the currency than seen at present would assist in rebalancing growth in the economy.”

Based on these factors, the RBA decided that the current rate remains “appropriate”. Mr Stevens closed his statement by saying that, “the Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target.”

RBA Keeps Rate at 2.5%

Once again, the Reserve Bank decided to maintain the cash rate at 2.5%.

Little has changed in the RBA’s statement, which was delivered by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens.

According to Mr Stevens, Australia’s economy, “has been growing a bit below trend over the past year.” As with earlier statements, he said that the RBA expects this to continue due to the “lower levels of mining investment”. He also mentioned the increasing unemployment, and that inflation “has been consistent with the medium-term target.”

The Governor also mentioned that there has been an improvement in household and business sentiment indicators, although he said it is “too soon” to determine if the trend will persist.

As for the RBA’s easing in monetary policy over the past two years, he said it has helped “interest-sensitive spending and asset values”. But Mr Stevens said that [t]he full effects of these decisions are still coming through, and will be for a while yet.” He added that the pace of borrowing “remained relatively subdued”, and that there is “a shift in savers’ behaviour in response to declining returns on low-risk assets.”

Also, the RBA still prefers a weaker Australian dollar. “A lower level of the currency than seen at present would assist in rebalancing growth in the economy.”

Based on these factors, the RBA decided that the current rate remains “appropriate”. Mr Stevens closed his statement by saying that, “[t]he Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target.”

RBA Cuts Rates by 25 bps

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a 25-basis-point cut in cash rates earlier today. This brought down rates to a new record-low of 2.5%.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in his statement that, "the Board has previously noted that the inflation outlook could provide some scope to ease policy further, should that be required to support demand." Based on their meeting and on the recent domestic and international economic data, the Board decided that, "a further decline in the cash rate was appropriate."

At a global level, the Board saw that "financial conditions remain very accommodative," although there was a marked rise in sovereign bond yields. In addition, there was an increase in volatility in financial markets, affecting several emerging market economies in the process.

In the domestic economy, the Governor said that it, "has been growing a bit below trend over the past year." The trend is expected to continue as the levels of mining investment lowers. Also, unemployment rate in Australia has increased, although inflation has been within the RBA’s medium-term target.

The lower cash rate, "has supported interest-sensitive spending and asset values." Although borrowing has yet to pick up, the Governor said that, "recently there are signs of increased demand for finance by households."

The Australian dollar has seen a massive drop against the greenback over the past few months, "although it remains at a high level." A further drop in its value, "would help to foster a rebalancing of growth in the economy," according to Mr Stevens.

The rate cut was in line with analysts' expectations after a weak performance from China and a stronger greenback over the past few months. Another round of cut is expected later this year, which analysts speculate could happen in November or earlier. The RBA hinted at this as well, as Mr Stevens also mentioned that the RBA will, "continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the inflation target over time."

RBA Keeps Rates at 2.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced today that it will maintain the cash rate at 2.75%.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens echoed previous statements that, "the easier financial conditions now in place will contribute to a strengthening of growth over time, consistent with achieving the inflation target."

According to him, this was the reason the Board decided that, "the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate for the time being. [It] also judged that the inflation outlook, as currently assessed, may provide some scope for further easing, should that be required to support demand."

Mr Stevens also mentioned the current economic conditions in Australia, which, "has been growing a bit below trend over the recent period." He pointed to the lower mining investment, which has been the country's main economic driver in the past. In addition, the Governor also spoke about the rising unemployment rate and the moderation of the growth in labour costs.

Meanwhile, Mr Stevens also spoke about the increased demand for finance by households despite the generally subdued pace of borrowing in the country.

There was also mention about the Australian dollar as he did with previous statements. The Governor said that the aussie has depreciated by 10 percent since early April, "although it remains at a high level." He mentioned the possibility of the exchange rate depreciating further in the future as well. This would, "help to foster a rebalancing of growth in the economy."

On a global level, Mr Stevens said that the, "financial conditions remain very accommodative." He added that, "a reassessment by the market of the outlook for monetary policy in the United States has seen a noticeable rise in sovereign bond yields from exceptionally low levels. Volatility in financial markets has increased and there has been some widening of credit spreads."

The RBA previously cut cash rates by 25bps in May, bringing the rate to its lowest level since the RBA began setting monetary policy. Analysts still expect another round of 25bps cut within the year, which could bring down the rate further to 2.5%.

Cash Rates Remain at 2.75%

The Reserve Bank announced no rate cut in its monetary policy decision this month. The rate thus remains at 2.75% after last month's 25bps cut. 

In his statement, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said that the Board decided that its stance in the monetary policy "remained appropriate for the time being." He also added that the current inflation outlook "may provide some scope for further easing."

At an international level, Mr Stevens said that the financial conditions are "very accommodative." Meanwhile, he also mentioned that growth in the country has been "a bit below trend." He added further that the unemployment rate in the country has increased over the past year, while the outlook on inflation is expected to remain consistent with the Reserve Bank's medium-term target. The RBA also expects it to stay that way over the next one to two years.

Mr Stevens also made mention of the previous cut's effect on the exchange rate. Although it has resulted to the depreciation of the Australian dollar, the RBA Governor said, "it remains high considering the decline in export prices that has taken place over the past year and a half." The statement echoed that of the statement the Reserve Bank made last month.

The cash rate thus remains at 2.75%, which is the lowest so far since the RBA began setting monetary policy. Analysts foresee another round of a 25bps cut within the year, which would lower rates further to 2.5%.

All in all, the RBA's statement has changed little, if at all, since their last announcement. Again, the inflation rate remains consistent with their outlook, unemployment has risen, and the value of the Australian dollar remains high. Now it remains to be seen whether the Reserve Bank would need another round of cut within the year, and if so, how it would impact the country's economy as a whole.

RBA Cuts Rate to Record Low

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced today a 25bps cut to interest rates from 3% to 2.75%. This puts the current rate to the lowest it has been so far since the RBA began setting monetary policy.

While analysts were divided on whether or not there would be a 25bps cut this May, they continue to foresee another 25bps cut later in the year. This would put the interest rate at 2.5%.

Increased Unemployment, Low Inflation

In his statement, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens pointed out that growth in the country has somewhat slowed down during the second half of 2012, a trend that has continued up to the present. Aside from that, the unemployment has also increased a little, “though it remains relatively low.”

Meanwhile, inflation was “a little lower than” expected. Some analysts point this out as the main reason why the Reserve Bank found it fit to cut rates further.

Stevens said in his statement that, “the Board has previously noted that the inflation outlook would afford scope to ease further, should that be necessary to support demand. At today's meeting the Board decided to use some of that scope. It judged that a further decline in the cash rate was appropriate to encourage sustainable growth in the economy, consistent with achieving the inflation target.”

Strong Dollar

While the previous rate cuts have begun to have a positive impact on the economy, this was not the case on the Australian Dollar. “The exchange rate… has been little changed at a historically high level over the past 18 months, which is unusual given the decline in export prices and interest rates during that time.”

The announcement has somewhat created an immediate effect, as the Australian and US Dollar pair fell from 1.025 to around 1.018 after the announcement.

RBA Maintains Cash Rate in April

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) earlier announced its decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3 per cent.

It was a move that surprised no one, as analysts continue to expect no changes in the cash rate until the middle of the year.

As with the previous months, the RBA decided to maintain a wait and see approach on the effect of the recent rate cuts to the economy.

"At today's meeting, the Board judged that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged. The Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time," RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement.

The statement also varied little from the previous month's where Mr Stevens cited that although Europe is still in a recession, the United States has shown a "moderate expansion", while Australia's top trading partner China is showing signs of economic growth.

The governor also echoed what was already stated in the past that the Australia's "peak in resource investment is drawing close." This would then give other areas of demand to strengthen. He also cited moderate growth in private consumption, although it is on a level lower than those seen in previous years.

Meanwhile, he also provided a positive outlook for other areas of the economy. "While the near-term outlook for investment outside the resources sector is relatively subdued, a modest increase is likely to begin over the next year. Dwelling investment is slowly increasing, with rising dwelling prices and high rental yields. Exports of natural resources are strengthening."

RBA Maintains Rates in March

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced no change in cash rates after its board meeting yesterday.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement that the RBA decided to maintain rates at 3 per cent and, "continue to assess the outlook and adjust the policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time."

Stevens also said that while global growth is forecast to be "a little below average for a time", the risks have diminished over the past several months. He attributed these to several factors including the moderate expansion of the US economy, the fewer financial strains experienced by Europe, as well as the signs of stabilisation in the Chinese economy.

There are also signs of growth in the domestic economy, said Stevens. "[Growth] was close to trend over 2012, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector, while some other sectors experienced weaker conditions. Looking ahead, the peak in resource investment is approaching. As it does, there will be more scope for some other areas of demand to strengthen."

The governor also mentioned positive developments in private consumption, dwelling investment and exports of natural resources. While the near-term outlook for non-residential building investment and investments outside the resources sector remain subdued, Stevens said that, "recent data suggest some prospect of a modest increase during the financial year."

RBA Maintains Rates at 3 Per Cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced no new changes in the country’s current cash rates on Tuesday.

Rates remain at three per cent, currently the lowest since April 2009 during the height of the global financial crisis. The RBA last announced cuts in December last year when it reduced rates by 25 per cent to help encourage growth in demand and inflation outcomes.

During the first meeting of the year, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens mentioned a number of key factors that affected the decision. In the international economy, Stevens said that the economic risks in the United States and Europe have abated, and the growth in China has stablised. Meanwhile, he also reported a positive outlook in the local economy including capital spending in the resources sector, a moderate growth in private consumption spending, and an inflation rate consistent with the organisation’s medium-term target.

The RBA’s announcement is in line with earlier expectations from analysts who believed that the Central Bank would maintain its wait-and-see approach to the effect of the recent cuts as well as the changes in the local and international economy.

RBA Cuts Rates by 25 Points

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a 25-point cut in cash rates after its final meeting for the year on Tuesday.

The announcement confirmed market expectations of a final rate cut by end of the year. This brought down rates from 3.25 per cent to three per cent, a figure at par with the lowest rate in April 2009 during the height of the global financial crisis. Analysts expect two further rounds of cuts by the middle of next year, potentially putting rates at 2.5 per cent.

The RBA will meet again on February 5 next year.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement that the cuts, "will help to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time." The RBA’s outlook of the global economy remains subdued, while volatility persists in some areas of the local market.

Meanwhile, the value of the Australian dollar recovered from last week’s dip after the RBA's announcement. From Monday's ¥85.64, it jumped to ¥85.71 the following day. Australian bonds were also up slightly following the cut, with 10-year bond futures contract up from 96.900 to 96.910, while three-year bond futures contract was at 97.390 from the previous 97.380.

RBA Expected to Cut Rates Anew

Analysts expect another round of rate cuts when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) conducts its final monthly meeting for the year tomorrow, December 4.

Experts estimate a drop of 25 points this month, which could bring down the current rate of 3.25 per cent to just three per cent. After tomorrow's meeting, the RBA will meet again in February next year.

Last month, the RBA maintained the rates after lowering it by 25 points in October.

The Australian dollar's value has already dropped in anticipation of the expected cut. From Thursday's 104.67 US cents, it dipped to 104.33 US cents last Friday. Other factors such as the continuing weak performance of the country's mining, manufacturing, and services industries are seen to suggest a further cut in rates.  

RBA Freezes Rates at 3.25 Per Cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced yesterday its decision to maintain rates at 3.25%. This dispelled earlier speculations of further cuts on Melbourne Cup Day.

RBA Governor Glen Stevens said in a statement that, "with prices data slightly higher than expected and recent information on the world economy slightly more positive, the Board judged that the stance of monetary policy was appropriate for the time being."

The outcome of the US elections, and changes in the European and Chinese economy are key global factors that could affect the rates in the future. At the home front, the RBA has decided to monitor the effects of the previous cuts in the meantime. This wait-and-see approach may keep the overnight cash-rate at its current level until 2013, according to some observers. However, this may change should the economy take a further dip in the coming months, wherein further cuts may be expected.

Get a Better Rate Today

Do you have a mortgage? With rates at record lows, it means that you could get better rates and reduce your monthly payment today. Alternatively, you may continue with your current payment schedule, and potentially take years off the term of your loan. Find out how much you can expect to pay by contacting our qualified advisors at Rate Detective.

Oct 2nd 2012: RBA cuts interest rates by 25 points

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates by 25 points Tuesday to curb the country's worsening economic outlook and stimulate spending.

The RBA's decision further lowered interest rates to 3.25%, the lowest in three years. This brings the cuts to a total of 1.5% over the past 12 months, with further cuts expected on Melbourne Cup Day in November. Factors, such as falling commodity exports and the uncertain outlook of China's economy, prompted these changes.

Borrowers will primarily benefit from the cuts, as they could expect an average of $48 off their monthly repayments on a 25-year mortgage worth $300,000. The actual reduction, however, will depend on every bank's rates, and the mortgage's terms and value.

RBA March 2012: Interest Rates On Hold at 4.25%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.25 per cent at its board meeting on March 6, 2012.

Read more details about today's decision in our RBA meeting, March 2012 article...

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RBA February 2012: Interest Rates Unchanged at 4.25%! Surpirse!

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.25 per cent at its board meeting on February 6, 2012.

Read more on this surprise move by RBA in our RBA meeting, February 2012 article...

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RBA December 2011: Interest Rates Cut by 0.25% to 4.25%!

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent at its board meeting on 6 December, 2011.
It was the second month in a row RBA has cut official interest rates.

Most economists predict couple more cuts early next year as inflation is lying at the bottom range of RBA 2-3% target and with uncertainty in the global markets - especially in Europe. Let's hope banks will follow the RBA and lower their rates in full so every mortgage holder gets early Christmas present. Read more on our RBA meeting, December 2011 article.

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RBA November 2011: Interest Rates Cut by 0.25% to 4.50%!

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) eventually has cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.50 per cent at its board meeting on Melbourne Cup day (November 1, 2011).

Economists predict couple more cuts in the near future. Good news for mortgage holders, not so good news for savers. Read more on our RBA meeting, November 2011 article.

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RBA October 2011: Interest Rates Unchanged at 4.75%. Again!

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on October 4, 2011.

It seems next move will be RATES DOWN! Read more on our RBA meeting, October 2011 article.

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RBA meeting September 2011: Interest Rates Unchanged at 4.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on September 6, 2011.

RBA decision to keep the official cash rate on hold met the expectation of financial markets:

  • The outlook for the global economy is less clear than it was earlier in the year.
  • Australia's terms of trade are still at very high levels and national income has been growing strongly.
  • The near-term growth outlook continues to look somewhat weaker than was expected a few months ago.
  • Growth in employment has moderated over recent months and the unemployment rate has been little changed, near 5 per cent.
  • Credit growth has declined over recent months and is very subdued by historical standards.
  • Year-ended CPI inflation should start to decline towards the end of the year, as temporary weather-related effects reverse.

So the Board judged that it was prudent to maintain the current stance of monetary policy. In future meetings, the Board will continue to assess carefully the evolving outlook for growth and inflation.

Economists expect the RBA will keep rates on hold for the next few months but believe a worsening in the world economy could trigger a cut later this year.

However some lenders already cutting their rates. Please fill out the form on this page to find out which Mortgage Lender in Australia offers the best Home Loan following this RBA decision...

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RBA meeting July 2011: Interest Rates Unchanged at 4.75%

Eight month in a row the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on July 5, 2011.

RBA decision to keep the official cash rate on hold today met the expectation of financial markets:

  • The global economy is continuing its expansion, but at a slower pace.
  • Australia's terms of trade are now at very high levels and national income has been growing strongly, though conditions vary significantly across industries.
  • A gradual recovery from the floods and cyclones over the summer is taking place.
  • Growth in employment has moderated over recent months and the unemployment rate has been little changed, near 5 per cent.
  • Credit growth remains modest.
  • Year-ended CPI inflation is likely to remain elevated in the near term, however, as the temporary price shocks dissipate, CPI inflation is expected to be close to target.

So the Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate. In future meetings, the Board will continue to assess carefully the evolving outlook for growth and inflation.

Please fill out the form on this page to find out which Mortgage Lender in Australia offers the best Home Loan following this RBA decision...

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Reserve Bank of Australia Minutes - June 2011

The minutes of the RBA June 7 board meeting, released on Tuesday, show that interest rates will increase "at some point" but RBA says it will wait for more news on the state of the international economy and on Australia's domestic demand.

June 2011 minutes indicate a rate rise may not come as quickly as previously supposed:

Members considered, however, that the flow of data over the past month had not added any urgency to the need for an adjustment to policy.

Despite inflation being in the bottom half of the target range in underlying terms, gradual pick-up in inflation could be expected if the economy evolved in line with the Reserve Bank of Australia forecasts. That means RBA expects GDP growth would be somewhat above trend over the next few years, led by growth in the resources sector.

But the signs of a softer outlook, both locally and internationally, were enough to soften the RBA's line.

Domestic negatives included:

  • weakening investment plans outside mining,
  • caution among households,
  • a weak housing market and a slowdown in employment growth from the rapid pace of late 2010.

International concerns included:

  • the rising tide of uncertainty surrounding Greece's sovereign debt problems,
  • its effect on share prices and foreign exchange market volatility, and
  • a softening of momentum in the US economy, albeit against a background of still-strong growth in Asia.

Accordingly, members judged that the current monetary policy setting was appropriate and left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75%.

RBA meeting June 2011: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left the official interest rates on hold at 4.75 per cent for a seventh consecutive month at its June 2011 meeting.

The central bank's decision follows surprisingly weak gross domestic product (GDP) figures, released last week, which showed the economy contracted by 1.2% in the March quarter for the first time since 2008. Most economists predicted correctly that it's unlikely the RBA would lift rates the week after the Bureau of Statistics provided such figures.

However it is only a matter of time before the central bank lifts the cash rate to head off inflationary pressures stemming from the $76 billion mining investment boom expected next financial year. Most economists have been looking towards August as the next likely date for an interest rate rise, as the next set of official inflation figures come out in late July.

In one bright point for home owners it seems major banks were unlikely to supersize their mortgage rate increases when the Reserve Bank next raised interest rates. Bank funding costs are not going up and that means they're not as pressured to continue raising rates on mortgages...

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RBA Minutes - May 2011

The Minutes from the RBA's May 2011 meeting show the Reserve Bank believes the current stance on monetary policy is appropriate. However most economists believe RBA will raise official cash rate at the next meeting in June.

The biggest concern for RBA is inflation which had been higher than expected and has a trend to increase further. Mining and resource sectors keep driving inflation up and despite other sectors in Australia strugling RBA believes that monetary policy had to be set for the needs of the overall economy:

In this respect, members judged that if economic conditions continued to evolve as expected, higher interest rates were likely to be required at some point if inflation was to remain consistent with the medium-term target.

It's worth to mention that RBA Minutes of October 2010 had the same sentence in it and in the next meeting (in November) RBA raised rates by 0.25%. Some see the same parallels here as well.

And while RBA is continuing to weigh up the balance between Australia's mining boom, weak household spending and continuing international financial problems, the most likely outcome of the next RBA meeting - interest rates will go up.

RBA meeting May 2011: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on May 3, 2011.

RBA decision to keep the official cash rate on hold today met the expectation of financial markets:

  • The global economy is continuing its expansion.
  • Australia's terms of trade are reaching higher levels than assumed a few months ago.
  • The natural disasters over the summer have reduced output in some key sectors, but overall growth is likely to be at trend or higher.
  • Growth in employment has moderated and further growth in employment most likely will be at a slower pace than in 2010.
  • Overall credit growth remains quite modest.
  • CPI inflation will be close to target over the year ahead, as the temporary price shocks dissipate over the coming quarters.

So the Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate. In future meetings, the Board will continue to assess carefully the evolving outlook for growth and inflation.

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RBA Minutes - April 2011

The Minutes from the RBA's April 2011 meeting show the Reserve Bank sees no likely need to raise official cash rates in the near term.

While the bank acknowledged that natural disasters in Australia over summer would slow down GDP in March quarter and also raise the inflation, the board emphasised it is looking through these short-term disruptions to the medium-term picture.

RBA is continuing to weigh up the balance between Australia's mining boom, weak household spending and continuing international financial problems.

While the disaster in Japan was predicted to slow Australian exports to that nation in the short-term, the bank is expecting increased demand for Australia's commodities once rebuilding gets under way.

As interest rates on both housing and business loans were a little above average levels in Australia, members of the board therefore did not see a case to change the cash rate.

Given the outlook for the economy, and in particular the high level of the terms of trade and the prospective further large increase in investment, members considered that this stance remained appropriate so as to ensure that the medium-term inflation outlook remained consistent with the target.

RBA meeting April 2011: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on April 5, 2011.

The decision to keep the official cash rate on hold today met the expectation of financial markets and the Press Release following RBA Meeting almost identical to last month's:

  • Financial conditions for the global economy remain accommodative;
  • Australia's terms of trade are at their highest level, but household sector continues to save,
  • Overall credit growth in Australia remains quite subdued,
  • Growth in employment has moderated over recent months and the unemployment rate has held steady at 5 per cent;
  • Inflation is consistent and within 2-3 per cent target.

So the Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate in view of the general macroeconomic outlook.

Please fill out the form on this page to find out which Mortgage Lender in Australia offers the best Home Loan following this RBA decision...

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RBA Minutes - March 2011

The Minutes from the RBA's March 2011 meeting are now adding to speculation that the next official GDP reading could be negative.

Flooding in Queensland and Victoria would likely take around 0.5 percentage points off GDP growth in each of the December and March quarters, but RBA said it would look beyond the short-term effect of the flooding. The economy appeared to be broadly growing at close to trend rate and the outlook for inflation in the year ahead was consistent with the bank's 2 per cent to 3 per cent medium-term target.

So the RBA left its cash rate target on hold at 4.75 per cent at the meeting.

Members confirmed that the Board's approach would be to look through temporary effects caused by extreme weather events and to continue to set monetary policy based on the medium-term outlook for growth and inflation.

What's the outlook for interest rates?

The Reserve Bank believes that home loan rates are above average but the policy is mildly restrictive so that means that interest rates are certainly on hold for the foreseeable future and some economists believe perhaps until the end of the year.

RBA meeting March 2011: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on March 1, 2011.

The Board judged that the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate in view of the general macroeconomic outlook in Australia and abroad.

The market is forecasting there will be no official rise in interest rates for the next few months as Australia continues to battle the effect of a "two speed economy" - the powerful resources boom is being offset by weakness in the retail market. However there is still a possibility the commercial banks could move independently and raise mortgage rates out of step with the central bank...

Please fill out the form on this page to find out which Mortgage Lender in Australia offers the best Home Loan following this RBA decision...

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RBA Minutes - February 2011

Subdued household spending and lower than expected inflation influenced the Reserve Bank's decision to leave interest rates on hold at 4.75 per cent, minutes from RBA February 2011 meeting reveals.

Despite Australia's terms of trade going upwards inflationary pressures didn't build up in Australia as under normal circumstances. Consumers and borrowers are still aware of the effects of GFC. They also got "a gift" in a form of double home loan rate increase from the banks last time RBA raised rates to 4.75% in November. The stance now is - "keep saving". That means Australia's economy is balancing itself out to relieve medium term inflationary pressure:

At the same time, however, the evident caution in household spending would, if it persisted, reduce the pressure on prices that might normally be expected in an economy with very strong terms of trade and limited spare capacity.

The RBA also feels that policy decisions won't be affected by the short-term supply shock to the economy resulting from the flooding and cyclone. The disasters are expected to slow growth in the first half of 2011, but the economy is then expected to storm back in the second half as a mining investment boom and fresh spending on reconstruction to counteract on GDP growth and inflationary pressure.

But most importantly RBA believes that lower than expected inflation outcomes provide "additional time for the Board to asses at future meetings the evolving balance of risks". So no interest rates rise in the near future.

RBA meeting February 2011: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on February 1, 2011.

The decision to keep the official cash rate on hold today met the expectation of financial markets:

  • Inflation is under control, and
  • Flooding in Queensland and Victoria will have just a temporary adverse effect on economic activity and prices.

It is unlikely the RBA will move interest rates in the following couple of months - the floods have increased uncertainty and until RBA receives some post-floods data they will not rush with the desision...

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RBA Minutes - December 2010

European debt problems and subdued household spending influenced the Reserve Bank's decision to leave interest rates on hold at 4.75 per cent, minutes from RBA December meeting reveals.

The Board noted that the deterioration in the financial situation in Europe over the past month had increased the downside risks to the global economy. These conditions in Europe might "settle down", but they also could escalate and disrupt global financial markets which in turn would affect the Australian economy more than any future reduction in demand for Australia's commodity exports.

The Board also noted that household consumption and borrowing still was restrained despite high levels of confidence, and there was a noticeable increase in the rate of household savings.

The RBA Board also took the current high level of the Australian dollar and the additional increases in home loan rates from commercial banks into consideration in keeping the cash rate on hold.

While RBA minutes included no direct reference to its expectations for the interest rate outlook, however November interest rate raise gives them more time to evaluate situation internationally and locally. Expect no rate rises for at least couple of months.

RBA meeting December 2010: Interest Rates on hold at 4.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia met on Tuesday the 7th of December for their monthly meeting to decide what action to take on the official interest rate. By the end the meeting they decided to leave the official interest rate untouched at 4.75 per cent.

The statement released by the RBA said that following the Board's decision last month to lift the cash rate, and the subsequent increases by financial institutions, lending rates in the economy are now a little above average.

Unchanged official rates provide a relief for borrowers and retailers in the crucial shopping weeks before Christmas.

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RBA Minutes - November 2010

Decision on interest rate rise was once again "finely balanced" the minutes from RBA November meeting reveals.

As in October, all the signs were for waiting a little longer:

  • the expected pick-up in domestic growth would be only in its early stages;
  • the latest CPI outcome had been relatively good;
  • credit growth and housing prices were subdued;
  • the exchange rate had appreciated and would dampen inflation pressures somewhat; and
  • US Federal Reserve's upcoming announcement might have a significant further effect on the exchange rate.

 However RBA has concerns too:

  • CPI reading was low, but the underlying rate was sitting in the middle of the target range and the next move would likely be up.
  • Aussie dollar was a factor and so too Federal Reserve's announcement on additional quantitative easing, but the risks of another global economic disaster had further abated.
  • And RBA was fully aware the banks were set to raise by more than the cash rate move. But this had been going on since the GFC and in fact the banks were going to move anyway, whatever the RBA did.

Thus RBA decided rate rise is necessary at this time:

The Board judged that the balance of risks had shifted to the point where a modest tightening of monetary policy was prudent.

There are no hints regarding December meeting in these RBA minutes, however negative data since then (unemployment has risen, credit demand continued to weaken, banks have raised mortgage by near double the RBA, retail shops suffering from deflationary pressures) and the European problems (Ireland bail-out) means there should be no rate rise in December and maybe even until April 2011.

RBA meeting November 2010: Interest Rates raised to 4.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has lifted official interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent at its board meeting on November 2, 2010.

It was the fourth time Australia's central bank has raised interest rates in 2010, after moves in March, April and May. And it is fourth consecutive year RBA raises official interest rates on Melbourne Cup day.

Latest inflation data released last week showed lower than expected inflation in the September quarter and thus eased the speculation that the RBA will lift the cash rate at this meeting. However RBA governor Glenn Stevens said the moderation in inflation that has been underway for two years is now close to ending:

Recent information suggests underlying inflation running at about 2½ per cent, with the CPI inflation rate a little higher due mainly to increases in tobacco taxes. Both results were helped somewhat in the latest quarter by unusual softness in food prices. Inflation is likely to rise over the next few years. This outlook, which is largely unchanged from the Bank's earlier forecasts, assumes some tightening in monetary policy.

As a result, Stevens says a move in interest rates is necessary due to the "large expansionary" shock from high terms of trade and "relatively modest amounts of spare capacity":

Looking ahead, notwithstanding recent good results on inflation, the risk of inflation rising again over the medium term remains. At today's meeting, the Board concluded that the balance of risks had shifted to the point where an early, modest tightening of monetary policy was prudent.

The good news - it's unlikely RBA will lift interest rates again in December. The bad news - banks may lift their rates independently.

Commonwealth Bank is a good example. CBA increased its standard variable interest rate by 0.45% - it's almost double the RBA increase! Now Commonwealth Bank Standard Variable Home Loan Rate is at 7.81%.

Please fill out the form on this page to find out which Mortgage Lender in Australia offers the best Home Loan following this RBA decision...

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RBA minutes - October 2010

A rate rise was considered on October 5, 2010 minutes from the Reserve Bank meeting reveals.

The RBA said there were arguments for and against a rate hike and that the decision was "finely balanced".

Arguments for rate rise:

A case could be made to increase the cash rate at the current meeting, based on the medium-term inflation outlook and the fact that developments had continued to be broadly consistent with the central forecast scenario.

Arguments against the rise: 

The case to wait before making a tightening move was that the economy was still expected to continue growing at trend in the near term, credit growth had softened somewhat and the rise in the exchange rate would, if it continued, effectively be tightening financial conditions at the margin. Moreover, it was still possible that downside risks to global growth could materialise.

The minutes say the board decided to keep the cash rate at 4.5 per cent "for the time being, pending evaluation of further information at the next meeting". That means RBA will wait until the September quarter consumer price index (CPI) data will be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on October 27. If the figures will be as RBA expected or even better - rate rise in November is imminent.

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RBA meeting October 2010: Interest Rates on hold again at 4.50%

For the fifth consecutive month in a row Reserve Bank of Australia left official interest rates unchanged at 4.50% today.

It comes as surprise to most economists as financial markets priced almost 73% chance of 0.25 per cent raise in official interest rate this month. However it seems RBA decided to wait for a quarterly CPI data which is due on October 27, right before the next RBA meeting. And barring surprises in the report official interest rates will go up in November.

This RBA decision may prevented bigger rate rises from the banks. Analysts have predicted the banks will lift their rates by up to 0.25 of a percentage point above any official move as they try to recoup the higher costs of sourcing funds from overseas. But now the banks, most likely, will not be making any moves independently of the RBA.

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RBA minutes - September 2010

Interest rates rise is coming - minutes from the Reserve Bank's September 7, 2010 meeting show.

Australian economy is performing better than expected and it seems only risks of a major downturn in the US or slower than anticipated growth in resource hungry China, forced the board to leave the rate on hold in September.

However RBA is increasingly concerned about rising potential for a sharp kick up in inflation if the resources boom and rising domestic consumption set off a surge in demand for labour and materials and services.

Members observed that previous investment booms and increases in the terms of trade had posed significant challenges for economic policy, and that high levels of resource utilisation were likely to put pressure on inflation.

So the rate rise is near. The main question is when - October or November meeting?

While policy had to be alert to these risks, members considered that if the central scenario came to pass it was likely that higher interest rates would be required, at some point, to ensure that inflation remained consistent with the medium-term target. 

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RBA meeting September 2010: Interest Rates on hold at 4.50%

The Reserve Bank of Australia met on Tuesday the 7th of September for their monthly meeting to decide what action to take on the official interest rate. By the end the meeting they decided to leave the official interest rate untouched at 4.50 per cent.

The statement released by the RBA said that the Australian economy was at "trend pace" but provided very little information of use for consumers and home owners.

Keeping the official rate unchanged for the fourth consecutive month has been seen by some as a wait and see approach.

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RBA minutes - August 2010

Minutes from the Reserve Bank's August 3, 2010 meeting show that RBA is comfortable with the current level of interest rates, which forcing households to stop speculating on property and save more.

European banks passed the stress tests without a hitch and the underlying inflation in Australia fell to 2.7%, hence there was no rate rise in August.

Credit growth remained soft and the housing market had stabilised after the surge in prices late last year and earlier this year...
The inflation data released during the month were in line with the Board's expectations for a decline, and the outlook for economic growth had not changed. Markets had settled somewhat, but there was still more uncertainty over the global outlook than there had been earlier in the year. The Board therefore judged the existing level of the cash rate as still appropriate, and decided to leave it unchanged for the time being, pending further information.

The minutes seem to support most market economists' views that the official cash rate will remain on hold until next inflation data, which is due in late October. So Australians should have steady rates until at least November.

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RBA meeting August 2010: Interest Rates on hold at 4.50%

At its meeting on August 3, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave official interest rate unchanged at 4.50 per cent.

RBA decision was influenced by positive data on underlying inflation as it reached the lowest rate in 3 years and sits at 2.75%. It seems RBA is going to keep rates on hold for a longer period until inflation moves above the target and/or the global outlook improves further.

Good news for borrowers that repaying a variable interest loan or approaching the end of their fixed rate term.

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RBA minutes - July 2010

Inflation figures due on July 28 will determine whether Reserve Bank of Australia lifts rates in August, RBA Minutes from July 6, 2010 meeting reveal.

The RBA reiterated its expectation that underlying inflation would moderate further, although it was expected to remain in the upper half of the two to three per cent target range:

Consumer price inflation data for the June quarter would be published on 28 July, and the staff expected them to show the underlying rate of inflation continuing to moderate in year-ended terms, to be below 3 per cent for the first time in three years. CPI inflation was, however, expected to rise to a little above 3 per cent, partly due to the effects of higher taxes on tobacco. Measures of inflation expectations had eased a little over the past month.

The RBA also said it was keeping a close watch on events in the global economy, citing the importance of coming bank stress-testing results in Europe, the outcomes of which are to be announced this Friday.

However the main message remains the same - RBA wants to keep rates on hold for as long as it possibly can.

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RBA meeting July 2010: Interest Rates left unchanged at 4.50%

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.5 per cent at its July 6 meeting.

Volatile financial markets caused by problems in European economies and the weak rebound of the US economy saw the central bank hold the cash rate steady for a second month in a row.

Despite the signals of weakness from overseas, inflation remains a key concern for the RBA, driven by both domestic and international forces. The annual reading is well above the RBA's target range for inflation between 2 and 3 per cent over the long term and that means RBA will be keeping a close eye on the June quarter consumer price data before deciding on the next move.

The official CPI is due for release on July 28.

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RBA minutes - June 2010

The tone of minutes from the June 1 RBA meeting suggests no change to official interest rates at RBA next meeting.

After 6 raises since October 2009 RBA has the flexibility to keep interest rates on hold for now, giving it time to assess the global impact of the European sovereign debt crisis, while also awaiting domestic second quarter inflation data at the end of July.

While recent data for prices and wages suggested that the disinflationary forces in the economy were not quite as strong as previously expected, global events could also have implications for the inflation outlook in the medium term. Members noted that the CPI data for the June quarter, which would be released in late July, would provide information on the extent of inflationary pressures in the economy.

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RBA meeting June 2010: Interest Rates on hold at 4.50%

At its meeting on June 1, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave official interest rate unchanged at 4.50 per cent.

All banks followed the suit and didn't changed their home loan rates as well.

The tone of the Press Release following the RBA decision suggests rates might be on hold for several months now. RBA Minutes which will be released on June 15 will provide more details.

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RBA minutes - May 2010

Minutes from the May 4 RBA meeting suggested that if lenders responded to the rise in interest rates as expected, interest rates for most borrowers would be at around their average levels:

If lenders responded as expected to another rise in the cash rate, interest rates faced by most borrowers would then be at around their average levels over the past decade.

Previous interest rates hikes had begun to work as retail sales were slowing and home loan approvals falling. But, again, the resources boom was noted as the driving factor and forced RBA to revise up inflation forecast to "not much below the top of the target range", meaning up from 2.5% to near 3%.

The evolving sovereign-debt crisis in Greece formed a backdrop to the meeting and was discussed at length, forming an argument to hold rates steady in May, the minutes of the policy-setting meeting showed. But the conclusion was the direct impact of Greece on Australia "would be small". However since May 4 situation in Europe has worsen and it seems interest rates will remain steady for another month or two.

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RBA meeting May 2010: Interest Rates lifted to 4.50%

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised official interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.50% at it's May 4 meeting.

Inflation and boost in house prices were the main reasons for the rate rise.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said inflation has not fallen as much as forecast and is likely to be in the upper half of the RBA's 2 to 3 per cent target band. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed house prices rose 20 per cent during the year to March, the fastest pace recorded by the bureau since the series began in 2002.

However, for the first time, RBA says interest rates for most borrowers are now back around average levels:

The board expects that, as a result of today's decision, rates for most borrowers will be around average levels.

All banks raised their rates inline with RBA so this raise will add about $48 a month to mortgage repayments on an average $300,000 home loan in Australia.

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RBA minutes - April 2010

Minutes from the April 6 RBA meeting revealed that price hikes for iron ore and coal that were stronger than expected was the main reason to raise interest rates without delay.

The fact that the prospective rise in the terms of trade was now likely to be noticeably stronger than had been expected was a factor suggesting that it might be prudent not to delay adjustment.

In March RBA had suggested it was “appropriate for interest rates to be moved gradually to more normal levels”. This time the absence of "gradually" in the minutes and the reminder that the latest hike was just "a further step in the process" is another hint that more rate hikes are on the way and most likely will be announced in May...

Members considered that the outlook for the economy suggested that there was a case for a further step in the process of returning interest rates to more normal levels.

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RBA meeting April 2010: Interest Rates go up to 4.25%

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised official interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.25% at it's April 6 meeting.

Today's rate rise was another step in the process of normalising the interest rate structure in Australia:

Interest rates to most borrowers nonetheless have been somewhat lower than average. The Board judges that with growth likely to be around trend and inflation close to target over the coming year, it is appropriate for interest rates to be closer to average. Today's decision is a further step in that process.

The increase today will add about $50 to the monthly repayments of an average mortgage in Australia if passed in full by the banks.

Commonwealth Bank was first to react and increased their rates in line with the RBA. NAB reassured yesterday that they will not move their rates by more than RBA. Expect all big banks and major lenders to follow the suit this time.

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RBA minutes - March 2010

Minutes from the March 2 RBA meeting revealed that central bank decided to increase the cash rate to 4 per cent in response to two months of data suggesting the economy might be growing at or close to trend.

The board noted that "prompt start" in monetary policy normalisation which had allowed "subsequent flexibility" in the pace of rate rises was the reason why a rate rise was not required in February.

Most economists agree that RBA would keep rates at 4 per cent until May, when they would resume lifting towards a 5 per cent cash rate by year end.

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RBA meeting March 2010: Interest Rates rise to 4.00%

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised official interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.00% at it's March 2 meeting.

Today's decision is a further step to make official interest rates closer to average:

"The Board judges that with growth likely to be close to trend and inflation close to target over the coming year, it is appropriate for interest rates to be closer to average."

The increase today will add about $50 to the monthly repayments of an average mortgage in Australia.

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RBA minutes - February 2010

Despite the decision to pause interest rates in February, RBA minutes showed more adjustments in policy was likely and only timing of next interest rate raise is unclear.

Underlying inflation was falling in line with earlier forecasts which were based on the assumption of a gradual rise in the cash rate. However aggressive interest rate hikes in late 2009 gave the RBA flexibility to leave policy settings unchanged "for the time being" in February, allowing to receive some more information on how the economy was responding to the monetary tightening that had already occurred and also consider events in the global economy.

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RBA meeting February 2010: No rate rise today. Rates left at 3.75%

At its meeting on February 2, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.75 per cent, sending positive shock waves across Australia...

Most economists predicted that official interest rates will be lifted 25 basis points following recent positive news (retail spending is up, unemployment is down, etc.). Some betting agencies even refused to accept bets, because they thought the outcome was too certain. However RBA decided to keep official interest rates unchanged.

The main reason for leaving interest rates on hold was limited information regarding the impact of some lenders raising their rates more than the RBA.

"Lenders have generally raised rates a little more than the cash rate over recent months and most loan rates have risen by close to a percentage point." RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement following the meeting. So "the Board judged it appropriate to hold a steady setting of monetary policy for the time being".

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RBA minutes - December 2009

The RBA decision to raise interest rates in December was "finely balanced" and gave central bank more flexibility in the future, RBA Minutes from December 1 meeting reveals.

Main reasons for the decision were:

  • Australian economy in 2009 has turned out much stronger than expected. 
  • Given the Asian-driven resources boom, the outlook for sustained growth also looks good despite the diminishing effects of fiscal stimulus.
  • Inflation will moderate but not fall as far as first thought.
  • Housing credit continues to expand while business credit conditions are showing tentative signs of improvement.

The intention of a third successive rate raise is not to slow the economy, but keep it on the track:

"Members agreed that, if developments unfolded as currently expected, monetary policy would need to be adjusted further over time to lessen the degree of stimulus. That adjustment would not be intended to slow demand compared with the current forecast path, but aimed simply at keeping the stance of policy appropriate for improving economic conditions."

Welcome to the "normal" interest rate range!

As for the future interest rate trends - it's a 50-50 chance for February. It seems RBA needs more data on economic activity and inflation in coming months to make a decision on future interest rates.

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RBA meeting December 2009: Interest Rates moved up to 3.75 %

First time in history Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised official interest rates third time in a row during it's December 2 meeting. However this rise is a small one and the same as the previous ones - 25 basis points.

If banks will pass this rise on the consumers in full (and we are sure they will) it will increase mortgage repayments by $47 per month on a typical mortgage of $300,000.

Someone may call RBA "Christmas Grinch" but don't forget that RBA has no scheduled meeting in January and the next one will be in February only. So as the economy rebounds from a slowdown during the past year, inflation has declined from its peak and is in line with the target, RBA decided "to lessen gradually the degree of monetary stimulus", i.e. to raise interest rates to 3.75% and watch how this increase affects the economy. Until the next meeting...

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RBA minutes - November 2009

Interest rates will rise, the only question is the pace or timing of the rises in coming months. This is the main message of RBA Minutes from November 3 meeting.

Conditions in the Australian economy were significantly better than had been expected earlier in the year, underlying and CPI inflation expected to be consistent with the target in 2010, downturn in the labour market had been more moderate than expected - these are all the reasons for gradually to reduce the degree of monetary stimulus.

However, the RBA seem conscious of the risks of raising rates too quickly and the impact that may have on households, especially as fiscal stimulus fades. So we should expect a pause in policy tightening at some point in the near future.

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RBA meeting November 2009: Interest Rates moved up to 3.50 %

For the second month in a row Reserve Bank of Australia has lifted official interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.50% at its meeting on November 3.

This increase will add about $45 to the average monthly payment for a typical $300,000 home loan. And Australian families will have to cope with that increase as soon as from Monday - all four big banks were quick to announce they'll increase standard variable rates by 25 per cent from Monday.

The following paragraph from RBA press release precisely summarise why interest rates were lifted:

"With the risk of serious economic contraction in Australia now having passed, the Board's view is that it is prudent to lessen gradually the degree of monetary stimulus that was put in place when the outlook appeared to be much weaker. The adjustments at the October and November meetings will work to increase the sustainability of growth in economic activity and keep inflation consistent with the target over the years ahead."

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RBA minutes - October 2009

Minutes of the Reserve Bank's October 6 meeting revealed that official interest rates were lifted by 25 basis points to 3.25% because the risks of not lifting rates starting to outweigh the benefits of leaving the cash rate at the emergency setting of 3%.

The performance of the housing sector and fears about inflation has widely been regarded as a key influence on the rates decision.

The Board noted that many Australian households had taken the opportunity to pay down their mortgages, potentially reducing the impact of rate rises on the economy.

However inflation, the key focus of the RBA in the setting of monetary policy, had not fallen as far as expected, keeping the central bank nervous. As a result, the CPI data due out later this month will provide the best guide to the next move of the Reserve Bank.

The minutes leave the question of future rate rises open ended, hinting however that we should not be surprised to see more. RBA has confirmed they will be cautious in their attempts to return to a cash rate of around 5 or 6 per cent, but any hint of inflationary pressure building in the Consumer Price Index reading later this month could see a more aggressive response from the bank.

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RBA meeting October 2009: Interest Rates rise to 3.25 %

After 5 months of no change the RBA decided at its meeting on the 6th of October to raise the official interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

Australia is the first developed country to start raising its cash rate and is a result of the Australian economy being stronger than expected. "Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected and measures of confidence have recovered" Governor of the RBA, Glenn Stevens said.

With many banks not passing on the previous rate cuts to its customers it will be interesting to see how they handle this announcement. If the banks pass the rate rise on to their home loan customers it could add an extra $50 to monthly repayments for your average $300,000 loan.

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RBA minutes - September 2009

Minutes of the Reserve Bank's September 1 meeting revealed that uncertainty about economic outlook abroad and in Australia was the main factor to leave official interest rates at a 49-year low of 3.00 per cent.

"At the previous meeting, members had agreed that if the economy continued to evolve as in the latest forecasts, the Bank would in due course need to adopt a less expansionary policy stance. The information at this meeting suggested that economic conditions were indeed evolving broadly in that way. Nonetheless, some uncertainty remained about the outlook both abroad and at home."

The minutes show RBA still can't decide when a rate rise is due. Helping that was the flow of conflicting figures about the economy, and signs that market forces might be engineering a modest tightening of their own, without any real pressure from the bank. The lack of certainty would have increased a week after the meeting with the release of data showing slowing retail sales and housing finance (but offset by stronger business and consumer confidence).

So we should not see rate rise for a month or two. But RBA will lift the rates. We know that. The timing of the RBA's rate rise however will depend on its assessment of the pressures from business and infrastructure bottlenecks etc. As de facto rate rise for business and some new home borrowers already happened (increased fixed home loans)...

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RBA meeting September 2009: Interest Rates left unchanged at 3.00 %

At its meeting on September 1, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.00 per cent. It's a fifth consecutive month RBA left official interest rates unchanged.

Main points from press release following the decision:

  • global economy is resuming growth,
  • growth in China has been very strong,
  • major economies appear to be approaching a turning point,
  • only modest growth is expected in the world economy in 2010,
  • forecasts have been revised up recently,
  • weakness on the balance sheets of financial institutions remains main risk to the global expansion

Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected:

  • consumer spending, exports and business investment have resiled,
  • measures of confidence have recovered,
  • unemployment has not risen as far as had been expected,
  • inflation has been declining due to moderation in labour costs and fall in energy and commodity prices,
  • credit growth overall remains quite modest,
  • housing credit has been solid,
  • dwelling prices have risen over recent months,
  • business borrowing has been declining,
  • growth is likely to firm going into 2010.

The Board's judgement is that the present accommodative setting of monetary policy remains appropriate for the time being. The Board will continue to adjust monetary policy so as to foster sustainable growth in economic activity and inflation consistent with the target. 

In general, RBA statement was about reaffirming that the next move is up, but not until a durable recovery is seen. However, banks can lift interest rates independently from RBA. Rumour has it that some or all major banks will raise Standard Variable Rates by 0.15% this week...

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RBA minutes - August 2009

Minutes of the Reserve Bank's August 4 meeting said that the improvement in the global and domestic economies means further interest rate cuts are unlikely to be necessary.

"In recent months, members had left open the possibility of further reductions in the cash rate should further downside risks to the economy emerge," said RBA minutes, published on Tuesday. "Given the recent improvement in the global and domestic outlooks, it now appeared unlikely that this would be necessary."

However official interest rates should not be lifted for at least 2-3 months as RBA wants to collect more information whether the recent growth in household spending was due mainly to:

  • the temporary fiscal measures,
  • a more general decline in risk aversion, or
  • the more persistent effects of lower interest rates

RBA doesn't want to keep interest rates too low for too long in a recovering economy, "particularly when underlying inflation still needed to decline to reach the target", but on the other hand, tightening monetary policy too early is a risk of "choking off confidence and demand prematurely"...

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RBA meeting August 2009: Interest Rates remained at 3.00%

For the forth time in a row the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the official interest rates unchanged at 3.00 per cent at its meeting today.

Press release writers seems to benefit most from such outcome as today's press release looks identical to previous two. The Board still going to monitor how economic and financial conditions unfold but this time comments on further easing were dropped. Is that means that the interest rate perspective would no longer be biased toward the downside?

Let's wait for the RBA Minutes to be released in 2 weeks time...

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RBA minutes - July 2009

Minutes of the Reserve Bank's July 7 meeting said that economic activity in Australia was not as weak as had been expected thus the RBA decided to leave official interest rates on hold at three per cent for the third consecutive month.

The RBA credits a pick-up in China with the turnaround as well as the Government's fiscal stimulus programs and its own sharp cuts in interest rates - which have more than halved variable mortgage payments in less than a year.

Tone of the minutes suggests interest rates will be left on hold for some time but the RBA says there is "a scope for some further easing of monetary policy, if that were to be needed".

RBA doesn't want rate hikes priced in right now, today, because it would undo a lot of the good work of earlier interest rate cuts. The only reason why RBA may cut interest rates one more time by the end of this year is to help the banks cope with their borrowing costs. Nobody wants banks will start raising home loan rates again (like in the case with Commonwealth Bank). At least not yet...

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RBA meeting July 2009: Interest Rates left unchanged at 3.00 %

At its meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.00 per cent.

Press release following the decission looks identical to June press release:

  • global economy is stabilising,
  • growth in China has strengthened considerably,
  • US economy is approaching a turning point,
  • but conditions in Europe are still weakening

In Australia monetary policy has been eased significantly:

  • Weaker demand for labour = lower growth in labour costs
  • A pick-up in housing credit demand = stronger dwelling activity
  • House prices are tending to rise
  • Business borrowing has been declining
  • Mortgage rates are at very low levels by historical standards
  • Business loan rates are below average.

The Board's current view is that the outlook for inflation allows some scope for further easing of monetary policy, if needed and thus the Board will continue to monitor economic and financial conditions.

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Summary of Home Loan Interest Rates rises by Big Banks

As you know Commonwealth Bank was the first bank among the Big Banks to raise home loan interest rates ahead of RBA decision.

Other big banks followed later on. Here we will provide the summary of home loan interest rates rises by all Big Banks:

  Commonwealth Bank Westpac NAB ANZ St George Bank
Rate Rise Current Rate Rate Rise Current Rate Rate Rise Current Rate Rate Rise Current Rate Rate Rise Current Rate
Standard Variable Rate 0.10% 5.74% - 5.81% - 5.74% - 5.81% - 5.79%
1 year Fixed Rate 0.10% 5.39% 0.10% 5.49% 0.10% 5.09% - 5.35% 0.10% 5.44%
2 years Fixed Rate 0.10% 5.94% 0.20% 5.99% 0.15% 5.79% - 5.69% 0.20% 5.94%
3 years Fixed Rate 0.10% 6.69% 0.50% 6.59% 0.40% 6.49% - 6.34% 0.50% 6.49%
4 years Fixed Rate 0.10% 6.99% 0.50% 7.19% 0.35% 6.89% - 6.79% 0.50% 7.14%
5 years Fixed Rate 0.10% 7.34% 0.50% 7.19% 0.30% 7.19% - 7.19% 0.50% 7.14%
10 years Fixed Rate 0.10% 8.09% 0.50% 7.79% 0.30% 7.79% - 9.39% - -

As we know Australians are paying $2.7 billion a year too much in home loan repayments by not shopping around and choosing one of the more expensive big four banks instead of the smaller lenders. Don't make the same mistake - compare home loans at Rate Detective and save thousands.

RBA minutes - June 2009

Minutes of the Reserve Bank's June 2 meeting said there was "no pressing case" for an interest rate cut.

The RBA left official interest rate on hold at a 49-year low of three per cent in June, the second straight month with no change in official cash rate. A surprise rise of 0.4 per cent in GDP, had been factored into the RBA's decision, minutes revealed.

The prevailing view among economists is now that the cash rate will most likely not fall any further but instead rise to around four percent by early in the second half of 2010.

However some economists believe that the inflation outlook and raising unemployment will force RBA to cut official interest rates to 2.5% by the end of this year. RBA mentions further rate cut possibilities "if that were to be needed to support demand at a later stage" as well.

And don't forget that RBA was not aware at that moment of the Commonwealth Bank intentions (then followed by Westpac and NAB) to increase standard variable and fixed mortgage rates by 0.10%. Interesting to see how these actions from big banks will affect Board decision during the next RBA meeting.

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RBA meeting June 2009: Interest Rates left unchanged at 3.00 %

At its meeting today, Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave official interest rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent.

Global economy is stabilising and considerable economic policy stimulus in train in most countries is helping to contain the downturn, and should support an eventual recovery. China is an example of the clearest turnaround.

In Australia monetary policy has been eased significantly. Market and mortgage rates are at very low levels by historical standards. Business loan rates are below average. A pick-up in housing credit demand suggests stronger dwelling activity is likely later in the year. Business borrowing, on the other hand, is declining, as companies postpone investment plans.

With demand for labour weakening, growth in labour costs is beginning to fall. These conditions are likely to see inflation continue to abate over the next two years. Which means that scope remains for some further easing of monetary policy by RBA, if needed...

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RBA minutes - May 2009

Minutes from the Reserve Bank's May meeting hint that official interest rates may be on hold for some months to come.

Rates stayed on hold at 3 per cent and the minutes released on today show RBA members agreeing that global economic conditions had stabilised. They said renewed growth in China, increased lending between banks and a slowdown in the pace of US and British decline indicates that the worst may have passed.

Board members, however, questioned whether such positive developments in China's growth was due to rising consumer domestic demand or if it was simply the Chinese government stockpiling commodities for future use.

Despite improvements in global economic outlook most economists believe that RBA will lower official cash rate by further 100 basis points by the end of 2009 because of unemployment. As the unemployment rate continues to push higher RBA would probably like to provide a bit of good news to help offset the pain of rising unemployment and its worth noting that in past cycles the RBA has continued easing official cash rate until unemployment has peaked.

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Interest Rates in Australia stay on hold at 3.00%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left interest rates on hold at 3.00%, as widely expected.

The decision comes despite the fact of falling house prices and rising unemployment. Most likely RBA wants to see the impact of government stimulus, previous rate cuts and any Federal Budget initiatives to be announced on 12 May.

Still despite signs of stabilisation of global economy worsening economic figures in Australia are likely to keep pressure on the bank's board to make further rate cuts in future months.

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RBA minutes - April 2009

The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) April meeting released on Tuesday had nothing in them to confirm or deny that we could get more rate cuts later in the year.

The market had been divided on whether the RBA would cut by 50 basis points or by zero and minutes show that board was well aware of that. But the argument for the 25 basis point cut wasn't clear.

More forecasts for economic growth in both industrial and emerging economies had been revised lower and RBA board had again lowered their expectations for the Australian economy for 2009. Fear of raising unemployment might be another factor for 25 basis point cut. But whether RBA was aware that the commercial banks were unlikely to pass the cut on - the minutes are discreetly silent...

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Current cash rate cut benefited banks only?

Reserve Bank of Australia cuts official interest rate by 25 points - NAB passes on zero, others almost nothing (10 basis points). Interest rates on savings accounts are slashed on the other hand.

The purpose of the cut was to inject some extra money into economy by giving some savings to mortgage payers. But instead, those living on interest income have just taken a pay cut, those with borrowings have no benefit.

Businesses are not getting the benefits of these rate cuts because their credit margins and the liquidity cost of term funds is pushing their absolute rate higher not lower.

So, how is the economy benefiting from this cut?

Maybe RBA should have either gone 50 basis points and at least gave the battling mortgage payer and small business a chance of some real relief, or left it at zero so they had some ammunition to give it a nudge one more time if they needed to. If they had left it at zero the banks would hardly have raised mortgage rates to increase margins - this would have been political suicide.

The only winners from such cut are the banks...

Interest Rates in Australia now at 3.00%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) today cut interest rates by 25 basis points giving homeowners a boost as Australia's jobs outlook continues to look more grim.

Today's 25-basis-point cut, if passed along in full by the banks, will take off t $46 off the monthly repayment on a $350,000 loan over 25 years.

Many economists had predicted no change before this afternoon's announcement. This today is the lowest cash rate since March 1960. The RBA has chopped 425 basis points since September in an effort to keep the economy from slipping into reverse gear.

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) was first to announce that they pass only 0.10% to the borrowers. Expect other banks to follow...

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European Central Bank cut interest rates less than expected

European Central Bank (ECB) cut official interest rate only by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent.

Most economists predicted that rates will be cut at least 50 basis points and financial markets also had been hoping for the ECB to elaborate on possible plans to increase money supply by extending majorities in its bank refinancing operations or by buying securities.

However ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet said the small rate cut reflected the outlook for diminishing inflation but mentioned that "1.25 per cent is not the floor".

Is that means we can receive similar surprise from RBA on Tuesday?

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RBA minutes - March 2009

The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) March meeting released today shows that there was a close call for either reducing the cash rate further or pausing for evaluation.

As RBA reduced the rates in each meeting since September thus the board decided "the best course for this meeting was to leave the cash rate unchanged". As "this would leave adequate flexibility for policy at future meetings".

And the rate cuts are most likely at future RBA meetings - Australian economy has a contraction in December quarter and finance ministers from G20 group agreed to cut interest rates further, boost funds to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and fight protectionism.

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Interest rates in UK and EU - March 2009

Bank of England

At its policy-setting meeting yesterday, the Bank of England cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.5 per cent. Bank of England also became the first European central bank to implement quantitative easing policy, as it announced it would buy up to £75 billion ($166 billion)mostly in gilts over the next three months.

In a statement accompanying the decision, the Bank of England said that the gloomy outlook for consumer spending and business investment made radical action necessary to prevent inflation dropping sharply below its 2 per cent target medium term.

European Central Bank

ECB, the central bank for the 16-country Eurozone, cut its official interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.5 per cent - the lowest level in its 10-year history. Bank also extended the provision of unlimited liquidity for banks to beyond the end of 2009.

European Central Bank wasn't ruling out a further cut in interest rates, or other ways to increase money supply through unconventional means.

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Interest Rates in Australia remain at 3.25%

This is the first time the RBA has left official rates steady since August 2008, when rates stood at 7.25 per cent. Still decision leaves official interest rates at the lowest level in 45 years.

However most economists still expect rates to reach 2 per cent or 2.5 per cent this year as the global economic crisis deepens.

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RBA set to cut rates to record low

The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to cut interest rates to an all-time record low during its monthly board meeting. It's expected that the rate will be cut by 50 basis points to 2.75%. This will mean great savings for homeowners, and if there is a cut, it could be a good time to lock in mortgage rates with a fixed rate loan.

The board will announce its decicion at 2.30 PM tommorow. We'll let you know the details as soon as we hear. 

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RBA minutes - February 2009

The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) February meeting brought mixed messages as to the future of official interest rates.

In the minutes, the RBA acknowledged that "...market expectations were for an easing in the official cash rate of 100 basis points at this meeting, with the trough in the cash rate now expected to be around 2% later in the year." That indicates more cuts are likely, but the RBA will probably make smaller reductions when it does move.

On the other hand yesterday's RBA minutes suggesting the central bank may hold off a rate cut next month while it waits to see the effect on the economy of extra Government spending ($42 billion package), including the $10.4 billion announced in October. "Members noted that the package of fiscal measures to be announced by the Government later that day would result in a significant boost to demand during 2009."

Monetary policy is a month-to-month decisions. Even though the RBA does always have a broad idea of where it wants to go, every decision, every month, is always made on the day and is subject to 'events'. And though the RBA's 'broad idea' sits somewhere between pausing (no cut) and easing (having a smaller cut) at the next March meeting, 'events' like much sharper than expected fall in Japan's economy or increasingly gloomy comments from the Bank of England may lead to further cuts in official interest rates.

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Interest rates in UK and EU - February 2009

The Bank of England (BoE) cut official interest rates yet again on February 5th, from 1.5% to 1%, a new historic low. The decision to reduce rates for the fifth consecutive month came as little surprise as BoE thinks that the overall effect of rate cuts on the economy is positive, because they benefit firms as well as indebted households.

On the contrary the European Central Bank (ECB) left its key lending rate unchanged at 2%. ECB had made it relatively clear to the markets after the January meeting that the February meeting held little prospect for another rate cut and the next "important meeting" will be in March.

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Interest Rates in Australia now at 3.25%

As expected, at its meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to reduce the cash rate by a further 100 basis points, to 3.25 per cent, effective 4 February 2009.

To find out how much of the rate cut was passed to consumers by banks and lenders, please visit "Home Loans Interest Rates - February 2009" article.  

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Interest Rates in New Zealand now at 3.5%

New Zealand's Reserve Bank has cut the official interest rate by 1.5 percentage points on Thursday.

3.5% is the lowest rate since it was introduced in 1999 and is lower than current interest rate in Australia. That leads to conclusion that Reserve Bank of Australia will reduce official interest rate with no doubt at it's meeting on Feb 3. Most economists predicts a further 1% cut which brings our rate to 3.25%.

Kiwi Bank quickly followed the Reserve Bank's lead and cut its home loan rates. This might be great news as Australian counterparts may act in the same fashion. However it signals worsening times for the economy as a whole and New Zealand's recession is now also predicted to last much longer than first expected.

European Central Bank cut interest rate to 2%

As expected European Central Bank (ECB) has cut official interest rate by 0.5% to 2.0 per cent on Friday.

ECB hasn't ruled out further monetary easing, but reduction in official rates was unlikely in the very near term. At least until the next ECB "important meeting" which will take place in March.

It seems ECB does not plan to follow other central banks in taking rates to near zero.

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Bank of England cut official interest rate to record low at 1.5%

As expected, the trend of reducing interest rates continues around the world in 2009.

First is the Bank Of England (BoE) which slashed interest rates by 50 basis points to 1.5 percent. It is the lowest level in the bank's 300 year history. Will we see BoE go to the same level as it's US counterpart?

The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to cut rates by 50 basis points to 2 per cent this week. A bigger-than-expected rate cut should not be excluded as Eurozone economy is not in the better shape either.

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Interest rates across the World in 2008

The following table is reflecting the movement of official policy rates in various countries during 2008:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
 USA 3.00 - 2.25 2.00 - - - - - 1.00 - 0/0.25 
 Japan 0.50 - - - - - - - - 0.30 - 0.10
 Euro Zone 4.00 - - - - - 4.25 - - 3.75 3.25 2.50
 UK 5.50 5.25 - 5.00 - - - - - 4.50 3.00 2.00
 Canada 4.00 - 3.50 3.00 - - - - - 2.25 - 1.50
 New Zealand 8.25 - - - - - 8.00 - 7.50 6.50 - 5.00
 Australia 6.75 7.00 7.25 - - - - - 7.00 6.00 5.25 4.25

Next scheduled meetings of Central Banks:

  • UK - 8 January,
  • Europe - 15 January,
  • Japan - 20 January,
  • Canada - 20 January,
  • USA - 28 January,
  • New Zealand - 29 January,
  • Australia - 3 February

Happy New Year!

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Interest rates in the US was slashed to record low

US Federal Reserve(FED) cut official interest rate to its lowest level in history this week. And for the first time official interest rates is not a specific target, but range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent.

It is the latest effort by FED to stimulate the US economy, but most economists believe it's a symbolic move and will not have much effect on the US economy. They said availability of credit and weaker economic fundamentals but not the cost of borrowing is the biggest problem for consumers and businesses right now.

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RBA minutes - December 2008

The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) December meeting said that board members had considered the fact they were not scheduled to meet in January when making the decision to cut the cash rate by 100 basis points to 4.25%. That means that RBA will keep interest rates on hold for at least the next two months, enough time of assessment of local and international events.

Minutes also confirmed that that board members wanted to move from a roughly neutral policy position to one which is clearly expansionary.

"Accordingly, members felt that, on this occasion, a reduction of 100 basis points was appropriate and would contribute to supporting confidence among households and businesses. In particular, a reduction of this size would move monetary policy quickly to an expansionary setting. Given trends in money market yields, the Board expected that most lending rates would fall significantly."

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Interest rates slash in Europe

Major European central banks, including the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England have joined the central banks of Australia and New Zealand in making deep rate cuts.

The ECB delivered the largest rate cut in its near 10-year history, lowering its key rate by 0.75 percentage point to 2.5 per cent. The ECB, which sets interest rates for the 15-nation eurozone, has now lowered its key rate by an unprecedented 1.75 percentage points in two months.

The Bank of England cut its key rate by a full percentage point to 2 per cent, its lowest level since the bank's founding in 1694, as a credit clampdown pushes the UK economy deeper into downturn.

The UK central bank's decision follows a stunning 1.5 percentage point reduction last month. Bank of England policy makers say they haven't ruled out the possibility of taking rates all the way to zero.

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New Zealand axed official interest rate by 1.5%

New Zealand's Reserve Bank (NZRB) has cut the Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 1.5% today - the biggest single cut in the nation's history. The move, the fourth cut since July, took the official cash rate to 5.0%, the lowest since December 2003.

RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard didn't ruled out further smaller cuts: "Some further, but significantly smaller, reductions in interest rates may be warranted."

Official cash rate reduced by 1% to 4.25% today

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to reduce the cash rate by a further 100 basis points, to 4.25 per cent, effective 3 December 2008, at today's meeting.

"Weighing up the international and domestic developments of recent months, the Board judged that a further significant reduction in the cash rate was warranted now, to take monetary policy to an expansionary setting. As a result of today's decision, the cash rate will be at its previous cyclical low point. Given trends in money market yields, most lending rates should fall significantly and will also reach below-average levels."

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4 reasons why official interest rates will be cut by at least 1% next Tuesday

Here is couple of reasons why we think Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will reduce official interest rate for at least 1% during their next meeting on December 2:

  • Demand for credit rose just 0.6% in October, according to RBA's report released today. The data takes into account the 125 basis points worth of rate cuts made by the RBA in September and October.
  • Retail sales rose just 0.1 per cent in September quarter. Flat sales figures should lead to further interest rate cuts in a bid to boost consumers confidence.
  • China cut it's official rates by whopping 1.08% and it might be the new round of global interest rates cuts.
  • RBA is not scheduled to meet until February, so they need to make positive impact to the economy for whole 2 months.

Stay tuned.

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RBA minutes - November 2008

RBA minutes released yesterday shows that Reserve Bank of Australia was considering between 50 and 75 basis points cut on the official interest rates on Melbourne's Cup day.

"Key factors in members' consideration of the policy decision were the continuing poor conditions in financial markets, the significant deterioration in the outlook for the world economy, with implications for Australia, and the likelihood that inflation in Australia would fall over the year ahead."

The minutes also disclosed that RBA wanted to get rates down to a "neutral" level (neither slowing the economy nor encouraging people to go out and borrow) quickly.

What's next? Taking into consideration that RBA is not scheduled to meet in January, interest rates are tipped to drop by another 75 or 100 basis points after December meeting. Unless RBA decide to hold a January meeting as they did in 1990 during the last recession.

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Interest rates will go down - wanna bet?

You can bet on footy, you can bet on horses and now you can bet on interest rates!

Centrebet says it is the first bookmaker in Australasia to field bets on the official Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announcements on interest rates.

As of today the odds are:

DOWN BY 0.01% - 0.25%              8.00
DOWN BY 0.26% - 0.50%              2.30
DOWN BY 0.51% - 0.75%              2.50
DOWN BY 0.76% - 1.0%                3.50
DOWN BY MORE THAN 1.0%       6.50
STAY THE SAME                             15.00
ANY INCREASE                              101.00

So according to Centrebet 0.50% cut is a slight favourite to 0.75% cut. But 1.00% cut is also possible as odds were down to 3.50 from 7.00 recently. 

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Interest rates across the World

As predicted the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Danish central bank cut interest rates on November 6. Most shocking cut was 1.50% by Bank of England. That is serious allegation that UK heading to a recession.

The following table is reflecting the movement of official policy rates in various countries during 2008:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
 USA 3.00 - 2.25 2.00 - - - - - 1.00 -
 Japan 0.50 - - - - - - - - 0.30  
 Euro Zone 4.00 - - - - - 4.25 - - 3.75 3.25
 UK 5.50 5.25 - 5.00 - - - - - 4.50 3.00
 Canada 4.00 - 3.50 3.00 - - - - - 2.25 -
 New Zealand 8.25 - - - - - 8.00 - 7.50 6.50 -
 Australia 6.75 7.00 7.25 - - - - - 7.00 6.00 5.25

Next scheduled meetings of Central Banks:

  • Japan - 21 November,
  • Australia - 2 December,
  • New Zealand - 4 December,
  • Europe - 5 December,
  • UK - 5 December,
  • Canada - 10 December,
  • USA - 17 December

Compare what home loan interest rates are offered by Australian lenders.

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Why CBA reacted so quickly on interest rates cut?

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced official interest rate by surprising 0.75%, but Commonwealth Bank's almost instant announcement of 0.58% cut for it's standard variable rate was non the less of surprise.

It seems CBA tried the old "market leader trick" - be the first into the market and set the rate for the rest of the oligopoly to follow. We will see if this trick will work this time.

Update: Other big banks followed the suit and didn't pass full rate cut to it's clients. Check the latest rates updates in our Home loan interest rate cuts - November 2008 article.

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RBA wants to lower expectations?

A speech delivered yesterday by Mr Ric Battellino (Deputy Governor) to the 7th ITSA Bankruptcy Congress in Sydney contained three key messages:

  • Australia's economic outlook is very uncertain;
  • inflation is still important and may limit the RBA's ability to cut rates and;
  • Australia's house prices are not as dire as in the US

In the conclusion the deputy RBA chief said the Australian economy was likely to grow at a slower pace in the next two years:

"The next couple of years will be noticeably more subdued than the past five. We should not be surprised by this as the income and wealth generated over the past five years were simply extraordinary."

Next round of Worldwide interest rate cuts?

The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by 0.5 percent to four-year lows today. Official interest rate in the US is 1% now.

China cut its interest rate to 6.66% from 6.93%.

Norway's central bank cut rates by half a percentage point to 4.75%.

Japan may cut rates on Friday and the European Central Bank and Britain are expected to add to the monetary easing next week as authorities remain fearful that the worst financial crisis in 80 years will cause a long global recession.

This let us to expect 0.75% rate cut by RBA on Melbourne Cup day.

New Zealand slashes official interest rate by 1 %

Reserve Bank of New Zealand has slashed its Official Cash Rate (OCR) by an unprecedented one percentage point in reaction to global financial turmoil and sluggish growth. Now Official Cash Rate in New Zaland is 6.5 percent.

This cut is the biggest cut since the central bank adopted the official cash rate (OCR) in March 1999, and RBNZ hinted more cuts could follow. The move could help boost New Zealand's slagging economy, which officially slipped into recession this year.

RBA minutes - October 2008

RBA minutes were released yesterday and it seems that increased risks to Australia's economy and signs that inflation will cool gave the central bank a "strong economic case'' for this month's 1 percentage point interest-rate cut, the biggest since a recession in 1992.

Banks' funding costs was another reason for a such big cut. Funding costs had risen by about 20-25 basis points relative to relevant benchmarks and RBA was afraid that any reduction in interest rates that banks announced on loans to customers would most likely be less than the change in the cash rate by a similar margin.

The minutes also showed that concern over fallout from the deepening global credit freeze outweighed the threat that a larger-than-expected rate reduction would erode market confidence. "Members concluded that despite the possibility of a short-term reaction, stronger action would help sentiment over time.''

And though RBA said "Members did not regard this unusually large adjustment as establishing a pattern for future monetary policy decisions" most economists tip that RBA will cut official interest rates on November meeting as well.

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November interest rate cut by 0.75%?

Most economists are sure the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will cut interest rates at least by 50 basis points at the next month's meeting. Most likely it will be 75 basis point cut, but RBA may surprise us one more time and cut interest rates by 100 basis points.

Bank funding costs fell this week after the federal government promised to guarantee deposits in Australian-owned banks, building societies and credit unions for the next three years. Existing stability in money markets would make lenders to give home borrowers the full benefits of official interest rate cut this time.

This would lead to a big drop in standard variable home loan rates and big savings for home owners. So don't even think about fixing you mortgage rates yet.

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RBA slashed official interest rate by 1%

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates by 100 basis points today. The bigger-than-expected reduction in official rates to 6 per cent was the largest cut in rates by the Reserve Bank since May 1992.

Whilst it is vital to remain strong in the current unprecedented financial environment, the banks really need to show commitment to their clients and pass on the vast majority of the rate cut, if not all of it. Australian families desperately need further rate relief. Any rate cute by the banks that is less than 0.85% will be viewed as unfairly increasing their profit margin at the expense of Australian Families.

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First interest rates cut in seven years

Speculations are over. Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official interest rate for the first time in nearly seven years, reducing it by 0.25 of a percentage point, to 7% this afternoon.

Immediately after the RBA announced its decision Australia's big banks and non-bank lenders followed by cutting their variable lending rates. This is also shut up the speculations "which bank is going to be a bastard". All lenders passed at least full 25 basis point to consumers. St George cut its standard variable home loan rate by 30 basis points to 9.37%.

The tone of the RBA statement suggested the central bank was more likely to cut rates again in November, rather than October.

2 from 4 big banks has promised to follow RBA rate cuts

ANZ and NAB has promised to lower home loan rates if the Reserve Bank decides to cut official interest rates at its next board meeting.

And though NAB commitment to reduce rates in full is tied with 25 basis points, ANZ's pledge is not tied to just a 25 basis point reduction, potentially exposing the bank to passing on a higher cut from the central bank.

The other major banks, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have so far refused to guarantee they will pass in full any cut to the official cash rate which is at 12 month high - 7.25 per cent.

It is interesting to observe banks actions in a different scenarios - when official rate is up, banks increase their rates almost immediately and even more than official rise. But when official rate is going down, all banks are reluctant to cut rates suggesting that there are a lot more factors to consider...

RBA minutes - August

The minutes of the Reserve Bank's August board meeting was released yesterday and have all but confirmed market expectations that there will be an interest rate cut next month.

Board members were conscious that financial conditions getting tighter and less restrictive conditions could soon be called for, otherwise the risk of a deeper and more persistent slowing in the economy would increase. But RBA's "language" in the minutes is not strong enough to suggest they are heading towards a 50 basis point cut next month. So most likely interest rates will be cut by 25 basis points and couple times in a row.

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ANZ fixed interest rate cut is a trick?

ANZ has cut its fixed mortgage interest rates by between 11 basis points and 50 basis points to 8.99%. The decision by ANZ to cut its fixed rates - but not its variable rates - comes as financial markets factor in a likely cut in official interest rates next month.

It seems with this move ANZ seeks to show a "good will" for RBA and the public and have excuses not changing or even increasing it's standard variable rate in the future when official rates will be cut by RBA.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data last week showed only 11.7 per cent of new mortgages approved in June were at a fixed rate, the lowest market share since October 2005. That was a big fall from March when fixed rate loans commanded 23.9 per cent of all new housing finance commitments. Most economists also agree that official interest rates reached their peak and should go down in the near future. So reducing fixed interested rates is a good move to get "good publicity" without sacrifying any profits.

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Interest rate cut - how much?

Taking into consideration the current economic situation in Australia most economists agree that there is no question about whether or not official interest rates will be cut in near future. Merely the question should be: how much will rates be cut by the  RBA - 25 or 50 basis points? The RBA is likely to start with a 0.5 percentage point cut like it did in previous years. Both interest rate cut programs in 2001 and 1996 started with a 0.5 percentage point cut. It would bring the official rate down from its 12-year peak of 7.25 per cent to 6.75 per cent.

Another question however is  - will the private banks follow the RBA and pass on official rate cuts to their customers?

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RBA left official interest rate unchanged at 7.25%

Today as expected the Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged at 7.25 per cent.

The cash rate is at a 12 year high and was certainly expected to stay that way with 19 economists surveyed by AAP expecting the RBA to leave the cash rate steady.

The Reserve Bank has not cut rates since December 2001 and the Banks Governor Stevens indicated in a statement that while the board felt it was appropriate to keep rates steady this month, relief could be in sight.

The RBA raised its cash rate four times between August last year and March to curb price pressures this certainly seems to of worked from the latest retail spending figures which showed the lowest in six years clearly showing that the economy is slowing.

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Further slow down in Australian economy

Growth in retail trade fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 per cent in June after a surprise 0.7 per cent increase in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. Consumers spent just over $20 billion in June, to post retail's weakest growth in six years.

The RBA's monthly credit report released today also indicates that 12-year high interest rates are curbing demand for credit. Total credit grew just 0.4 per cent in June.

Another two points to mark slowdown in economic growth, backing speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may be in position to cut interest rates early next year or even at the end of this year.

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Reserve Bank of New Zealand has cut official interest rates

Reserve Bank of New Zealand has cut official interest rates by a quarter of one per cent, to eight per cent - the first drop in five years.

The bank says the cut is justified by a rapidly slowing New Zealand economy, despite strong inflationary pressures which is expected around 5% in the September quarter.

The Reserve Bank governor, Alan Bollard, says further interest rate falls are likely.

Maybe Reserve Bank of Australia will follow it's counterpart's example soon?

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No interest rate cuts this year?

Australian Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday that Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 4.5% in the year to June. It's the worst inflation numbers since the introduction of the GST. In the three months to June, inflation rose 1.5 % - the highest quarterly rise in 17 years.

The bigger than expected inflation figures indicate that the Reserve Bank of Australia is likely to take its time before giving us any rate cuts. But it is considered there's almost "no chance" of interest rates rising again this year as RBA faces the challenge of managing a steeper economic slowdown than anticipated.

Official interest rates may fall by Christmas

A cut in official interest rates by the end of the year is a real prospect if tomorrow's consumer price index (CPI) data for the June quarter surprise on the low side. 

The producer price index (PPI) at the final stage of production rose only 1 per cent in the June quarter, for an annual rise of 4.7 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The result was well below market expectations of a 1.6 per cent rise in the quarter and an annual rate of 5.3 per cent and it seems the June quarter CPI data could also be lower than currently expected.

But if Reserve Bank starts cutting official interest rates within a few months and trading banks don’t cut their rates with the same enthusiasm they have shown for raising them over the past 12 months, what happens then?

Banks raise rates again - summary

Westpac joined the interest rate changes and increased its standard variable rate by 14 basis points to 9.61 per cent this week. Now all major banks in Australia have raised their interest rates despite the fact the RBA left official rates unchanged at 7.25%. Banks are blaming higher costs of funding for these additional raises.

Below you can find a table with the results of the latest increases and how much more it would cost you with an average loan of $300,000 for 30 years under standard variable rate.

  Previous Rate, % Rate Rise, % Date of the Rise Current Rate, % Increase on Monthly Repayments Increase on Total Repayments
St George 9.47 0.20 4 July 9.67 43.86 15,789.60
BankWest 9.35 0.20 9 July 9.55 43.71 15,735.60
Commonwealth 9.44 0.14 11 July 9.58 30.65 11,034.00
ANZ 9.47 0.15 11 July 9.62 32.87 11,833.20
NAB 9.46 0.15 14 July 9.61 32.86 11,829.60
Westpac 9.47 0.14 15 July 9.61 30.67 11,041.20

 However banks still have various products with better rates and you can compare them here at Rate Detective.

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RBA minutes - July

The minutes from the central bank's monetary policy meeting two weeks ago have been released.

"On balance, while members remained concerned about the current rate of inflation and the uncertainties about the outlook, the increasing signs that demand was slowing suggested that the existing policy setting was exerting the appropriate degree of restraint,'' the minutes said.

High petrol prices, significant decline in growth for both household and business credit, interest rates rises by banks independently of RBA - all these factors show that economy is slowing down and taking pressure from RBA to rise official interest rates again. The only concern is inflation as it sits at 4.2% and is well above of RBA's comfort zone (2-3%). But it seems RBA are ready to cope with it for a while so rate rise is unlikely when RBA meets on August.

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Remaining banks increased home loan interest rates

As expected, remaining banks followed St.George example and increased home loan interest rates by 0.15 - 0.20 per cent.

ANZ announced 15 basis point rate rise late Friday afternoon. ANZ’s new standard variable rate of 9.62 per cent came into effect today.

Today National Australia Bank has become the latest bank to turn the screws on homeowners, hiking its standard variable rate by 15 basis points to 9.61 per cent.

Meanwhile, AMP Bank also said it would increase its standard variable home loan interest rate for existing customers by 0.20 per cent, to 9.67 per cent. The standard variable rate for new customers will increase by 0.11 per cent to 9.67 per cent per annum. The changes take effect this week.

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More interest rate rises from the banks

In less than a week after St George lifted its standard variable interest rate by 20 basis points, 2 other major banks, BankWest and The Commonwealth Bank, did exactly the same.

Bankwest has increased its standard variable home loan rate by 0.2 per cent, taking its variable home loan rate to 9.55 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has raised its variable home loan interest rates by 14 percentage points, taking its standard variable rate home loan from 9.44 per cent per annum to 9.58 per cent per annum and its basic variable home loan will go from 8.93 per cent to 9.07 per cent.

Raises came despite Reserve Bank of Australia left official interest rates on hold at 7.25%. All banks blame higher cost of funds following the global credit crunch for the increases. If that's the case we should see remaining banks to follow the example and raise their interest rates between 10 and 20 basis points.

It's become more and more crucial to compare home loans first before applying for any home loan.

Interest rates rise despite RBA decisions

Borrowers should expect more interest rate rises despite the Reserve Bank of Australia indicating rates are on hold.

Since late last year individual lenders have pushed up their interest rates on top of the "official'' increases by the RBA and it seems lenders are not going to stop doing this.

St George Bank put its mortgage rates up by 0.20% again on Friday and there is likely to be more to come, regardless of the Reserve Bank's decisions.

This is because the finance and banking industry ultimately has the last say on interest rates. Although the Reserve Bank sets an official rate, it is up to each lender to decide what it will charge. And despite the Reserve Bank indicating last week it thinks consumer demand is coming under control, the banks and lenders have other issues to factor in which could still see rates go up again.

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Interest rates across the Globe

The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its main interest rate by a quarter of a point to a seven-year high point of 4.25 percent to choke record inflation as economies slow down.

The following table is reflecting the movement of official policy rates in various countries during 2008:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
 USA  3.00 - 2.25  2.00  -  -  -
 Japan  0.50  -  -  -  -  -
 Euro Zone  4.00  -  -  -  -  4.25
 UK  5.50  5.25  -  5.00  -  -  -
 Canada  4.00  -  3.50  3.00  -  -  -
 New Zealand  8.25  -  -  -  -  -  -
 Australia  6.75  7.00  7.25  -  -  -

Next scheduled meetings of Central Banks:

  • UK - 11 July,
  • Japan - 15 July,
  • Canada - 16 July,
  • New Zealand - 24 July,
  • Australia - 5 August,
  • USA - 6 August,
  • EU - 8 August 
  • Compare what home loan interest rates are offered by Australian lenders.

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    Official interest rates remain unchanged

    The Reserve Bank of Australia has today announced that it will leave the official cash rate on hold at 7.25 per cent. This move was what all major economists were expecting. Economists now say that further signs that the economy is slowing is shown in the unexpected fall in the job market, which has allowed the central bank to sit tight on rates. The RBA raised rates four times between August 2007 and March 2008 as underlying inflation soared to record 16 year high.

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    Interest rates in the US remain unchanged at 2.00%

    After 2 days of deliberation the US Federal Reserve left its interest rate unchanged at 2.00%. It's first break since US Fed began a series of aggressive interest rates cuts last September. Increased expectations to inflation was the main reason for such decision.

    Such news is a relief for Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). If other central banks are getting serious about inflation, that might make it easier for RBA to fight inflation as much of it is coming from overseas. The RBA holds its monthly board meeting on Tuesday and most economists are sure interest rates remain unchanged in Australia as well.

    Tight times for RBA

    Interest rates are not going down any time soon and it is likely that one further interest rate hike may be necessary towards the end of the year thanks to the iron ore and coking coal price rises. The price hikes highlighted the need for the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates tight and to continue working to make room in the wider economy for mining-related demand growth. That means slowing other parts of the economy, including retail sales, the housing sector and credit growth with tight monetary policy settings.

    The RBA will also battle against the stimulatory effects of $7 billion in income tax cuts, which will be delivered from July 1.

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    Next interest rates rise in August?

    Despite continuing signs of a slowing domestic economy, and the first drop in employment since October 2006, 2 of Australia's big 4 banks still think an August interest rate rise is likely.

    ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank are predicting an August rate rise when the consumer price index is released on July 23. Both banks believe that it will show another spike in underlying inflation in the June quarter and RBA will be forced to increase interest rates. 

    The National Australia Bank is less convinced that another rate rise is needed and is predicting rate cuts next year as the economy slows further, while Westpac sees rates on hold until 2010.

    On the other hand the biennial report of the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies predicts the Reserve Bank will have to lift official rates by 0.25 per cent twice before inflation will be controlled in Australia. Report says employment growth and demand are much stronger than the Reserve Bank had expected and further raising interest rates to counter the effects of the mining boom in Australia.

    Boost your savings on interest rate rise

    Everybody is concerned about negative impact raising interest rates have on mortgage, but not everybody sees the other side of the coin. Interest rates on savings accounts have not been this high in Australia in more than 10 years! So there has never been a better time to dive into the "saving mode" and make interest rate rises work for you.

    Open a high interest savings account (for example, BankWest TeleNet Saver which has best rates at the moment) and set up an automatic deposit from your main account. Depending on your pay frequency it can be done fortnightly or monthly. Then work a little bit on your monthly budget (cut unnecessary expenses, prioritise, shop around, save on petrol, etc.) and at the end of the day you will notice it's easy to make your money grow.

    Overseas Official Interest Rates

    Official interest rates remain unchanged for couple of months in other countries too. Let's take a look how our rates compare to the rest of the world:

    Overseas Official Interest Rates as of June 2008
       Official Interest Rate, %
     USA  2.00
     Japan  0.50
     Euro zone  4.00
     UK  5.00
     Canada  3.00
     Australia  7.25

    Short review of RBA minutes

    Economy is slowing down and another interest rise is unlikely in coming months. But according to RBA minutes published yesterday there are 2 major factors to pay close attention to – oil prices and wage or price rises.

    The RBA highlighted that any outbreak of wage or price rises would spark a review of the bank's current on-hold policy.

    The RBA said higher petrol prices could add about quarter of a percentage point to inflation over each of the June and September quarters - potentially pushing the core inflation reading close to 5 per cent. And some economists believe that RBA will raise interest rate to 7.5 per cent on August when RBA gets June quarter CPI (Consumer Price Index) data in late July if that’s the case.

    Interest rate cycle nearing an end?

    For homeowners, the interest rate cycle could be nearing an end as the RBA emphasised the current interest rate of 7.25% could be cooling the economy by the degree needed to harness inflation.

    Fixed Interest Rates unpopular

    Fixed interest rates are becoming unpopular, as borrowers believe that the Reserve Bank only has one or two more interest rates rises if any.

    Although fixed rate loans are currently offering lower interest rates than variable loans, borrowers are wary of being locked into a relatively high rate if the RBA starts lowering rates in the next year or two. Fixed rate loans made up 17.5 per cent of all home loans taken out in April, down from 23.9 per cent the previous month.

    Historical data of interest rates in Australia

    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policy. The Board usually meets eleven times each year, on the first Tuesday of the month except in January. For each meeting the Bank's staff prepare a detailed account of developments in the Australian and international economies, and in domestic and international financial markets. The Reserve Bank Board's explanations of its monetary policy decisions are announced in a media release, which is distributed through electronic news services and published on the Reserve Bank's website at 2.30 pm on the day of each Board meeting. Any change to the cash rate (interest rate) target will take effect from the following day.

    Below you find the chart of recent changes in official interest rates (click on image to enlarge).

    Historical data of interest rates in Australia

    Interest rate rise is less likely

    The latest jobs data will certainly take some pressure off wage growth, Which the Reserve Bank of Australia has been worried about now for some time Ms Kevans said, adding she expects the RBA to leave rates on hold at 7.25 per cent.

    Many Economists believe that the latest impact of job losses on both full and part time workers underscored the pace of the RBA’s orchestrated slowdown.

    Interest rates trends

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned of a long fight against inflation as a result the Reserve Bank gave a warning that it will lift interest rates again soon if wages or prices race away.

    Still most economists agree that it's unlikely interest rates will be raised on the next RBA meeting. As at 11 June, the SFE 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures July 2008 contract was trading at 92.725, indicative of a 10% expectation that the RBA will change the Target Cash Rate by at least 25 basis points from 7.25% to 7.50% on the 2nd of July 2008 (i.e., compared to a 90% expectation of no rate change).

    RBA will keep official interest rates at 7.25%

    The RBA today announced that it will keep official rates at 7.25%. Central bank governor Glenn Stevens, in statement accompanying the rate decision, said the board's assessment was that demand growth would moderate this year.

    The labour market conditions up until now have remained strong, indicators of household spending have recorded subdued outcomes over recent months, and credit expansion to both households and businesses has slowed down dramatically.

    RBA discuss another interest rate rise

    The minutes from the Reserve Bank meeting on the 6th of May have been released. It is likely we will see another rise in the interest rate in the coming months. For more detail about the outcome of the meeting see our article RBA Dilemma

    Current Interest Rate

    The latest interest rate rise from the Reserve Bank of Australia saw the cash rate move +0.25 from 7% to 7.25% on the 5th of May. This is the twelfth consecutive rise since 2002 with the last fall being in December, 2001. 

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