Reserve Bank of Australia leaves interest rates unchanged at record-low 1.5% for 17th straight meeting.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe says in statement Tuesday: “The low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Further progress in reducing unemployment and having inflation return to target is expected, although this progress is likely to be gradual. Taking account of the available information, the board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.” Australian dollar has fallen 1.5% in past month.
4Q GDP due Wednesday expected to show growth slowed to 0.5% from prior quarter and 2.5% from year earlier.
Headline, core inflation remain below bottom of RBA’s 2%-3% target.
Economy added about 400,000 jobs in 2017, a record three-quarters of them full-time; still, jobless rate remains at 5.5% -- about half a point off estimated full-employment -- due to rising labor force participation and strong population growth.
Source : Bloomberg