News ID: 235228
Published: 1135 GMT December 04, 2018

Australia's central bank holds cash rate at record low of 1.5 percent

Australia's central bank holds cash rate at record low of 1.5 percent

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) opted to keep the nation's interest rate on hold at 1.5 percent for a record 28th consecutive month on Tuesday.

"Growth in household income remains low, debt levels are high and some asset prices have declined," RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in the accompanying statement, with the cash rate unmoved since August 2016, Xinhua reported.

As a result, there's been a slide in Sydney and Melbourne's housing markets which has led to a ‘reduced appetite from some lenders’.

"Credit conditions for some borrowers are tighter than they have been for some time," the governor said.

"The demand for credit by investors in the housing market has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed," the governor said.

According to the governor, growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers has eased to an annualized pace of five-six percent.

The governor said global economic expansion is continuing, adding that unemployment rates in most advanced economies are low.

"Inflation is expected to pick up over the next couple of years, with the pick-up likely to be gradual," the governor said.

"The central scenario is for inflation to be 2.25 percent in 2019 and a bit higher in the following year before slowing in 2020 due to slower growth in exports of resources," the governor added.

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