Reserve bank Interest Rate watch October 2011

At the October meeting the Reserve bank of Australia left rates on hold.

The Reserve bank noted the following in its comments when leaving rates unchanged,

Conditions in global financial markets have continued to be very unsettled, with uncertainty increasing about both the prospects for resolution of the sovereign debt and banking problems in Europe, and the outlook for global economic growth. While temporary impediments that had contributed to a slowing in growth in some countries over recent months are lessening, recent data suggest a continuing period of soft economic conditions in both Europe and the United States. Moreover, the uncertainty and financial volatility have reduced confidence, which could result in more cautious behaviour by firms and households in major countries.

It will take more time for evidence of any effects of the recent European and US financial turbulence on economic activity in other regions to emerge. Thus far, indications are that economic activity is continuing to expand in China and most of Asia. Nonetheless, recent events have led forecasters to reduce their estimates for global GDP growth, which is now expected to be about average this year and next. Prices for commodities have declined over recent weeks, though in general they remain high.”

And, in reference to inflation pressures,

“Taking into account all the recent information, the path for inflation may now be more consistent with the 2–3 per cent target in 2012 and 2013, abstracting from the impact of the carbon pricing scheme. This assessment will be reviewed on receipt of further data on prices ahead of the Board’s next meeting. An improved inflation outlook would increase the scope for monetary policy to provide some support to demand, should that prove necessary.”
To my mind, this comment in particular indicates the Board is opening up the possibility of looking at reducing rates in future, if economic factors start to point to a weakening economy, however they seem to be content with rates today sitting in the correct or desired range.

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