At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.
There has been a broad-based pick-up in the global economy since last year. Labour markets have tightened further in many countries and forecasts for global growth have been revised up. Above-trend growth is expected in a number of advanced economies, although uncertainties remain. In China, growth is being supported by increased spending on infrastructure and property construction, with the high level of debt continuing to present a medium-term risk. The improvement in the global economy has contributed to higher commodity prices, which are providing a significant boost to Australia’s national income. Australia’s terms of trade have increased, although some reversal of this is occurring.
Headline inflation rates have moved higher in most countries, partly reflecting the higher commodity prices. Core inflation remains low. Long-term bond yields are higher than last year, although in a historical context they remain low. Interest rates have increased in the United States and there is no longer an expectation of additional monetary easing in other major economies. Financial markets have been functioning effectively.
The Bank’s forecasts for the Australian economy are little changed. Growth is expected to increase gradually over the next couple of years to a little above 3 per cent. The economy is continuing its transition following the end of the mining investment boom, with the drag from the decline in mining investment coming to an end and exports of resources picking up. Growth in consumption is expected to remain moderate and broadly in line with incomes. Non-mining investment remains low as a share of GDP and a stronger pick-up would be welcome.
For the complete statement of the interest rate decision, visit this link for the media release of the Reserve Bank of Australia.