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RBA to hold rates at 4.5%

Posted by Tamara McDowell on May 19, 2010

Minutes from the last Reserve Bank meeting showed that, while the decision to increase the cash rate from 4.25% to 4.5% was pretty much cut and dry, the central bank will keep rates at this level as it evaluates the impact of the six rises in seven months.

“The decision to raise rates followed a material upgrade to the Bank’s economic and inflation forecasts and so reflected the RBA’s desire to head off the inflationary impact of Australia’s commodity boom mark II,” said ANZ economist Katie Dean.

“ The minutes show that at the time of the May policy meeting, the bank regarded the problems in Greece as predominantly European issues that were having little impact on Australia. However, as the contagion has spread the RBA is mindful that Europe’s problems could turn into Australia’s problems.

“Since the May policy meeting we have seen further strong data out of China but also a notable rise in global risk premia from European sovereign debt issues,” Dean said.

“The latter should be more than enough to keep the RBA on the sidelines for now.”

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