Your 10-second guide to today's RBA rate decision

Table 12

Your 10-second guide to today's RBA rate decision

The recent inflation numbers were as expected.

At its meeting today, the Board made a decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

"The higher exchange rate is expected to contribute to subdued price pressures in the economy", Dr Lowe said in a statement.

"An appreciating exchange rate would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in economic activity and inflation than now forecast".

"The low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy", the RBA said.

While it has been many months since the RBA said anything about the dollar in its policy statement, it has repeatedly warned in other statements that a stronger currency would push down employment and make it harder for the economy to recover from the global financial crisis.

Although most analysts thought the board would leave rates at the current historic low of 1.5 percent, some thought that perhaps the central bank would cave in to pressure from tepid economic growth, weak inflation and a surging Australian Dollar.

Based on the RBA statement, we have to agree with Dr. Lowe, the current low cash rate is likely to remain for some time. He pointed out that the bank's forecasts had not been blown off track despite the stronger currency.

The warning had little effect on the currency, however, which remained stubbornly above 80 U.S. cents.

Treasurer Scott Morrison's latest federal budget predicted the economy would grow at 2.75 per cent in 2017-18 and 3 per cent in 2018-19. We suspect another year of masterly inactivity is in store from here.

Developments in the wider market could also help to shore up the antipodean currency, particularly if the US Dollar comes under renewed pressure.

The Reserve Bank remains hopeful that tighter prudential rules are beginning to bite.

While the RBA mentioned conditions in the housing market were variable around the country - and prices were falling in some markets - problems still existed despite regulatory efforts to rein in rising levels of household debt.

The central bank has warned that a rising Aussie dollar could slow the pace of economic growth and job creation.

There's likely to be greater discussion on inflation in today's statement given Australia's June quarter consumer price inflation (CPI) report was released last week.

Meanwhile, the outlook for consumer spending remains clouded.

Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic, said higher mortgage rates against a backdrop of high household debt was knocking some of the wind out of the housing market without the Reserve Bank needing to act.

The key is how business investment plans evolve over the coming year. A factor working in the other direction is increased competition from new entrants in the retail industry.

Dr Lowe said that Chinese economic growth has strengthened, bolstered by stronger spending on infrastructure and property construction, although he noted that high debt levels continued to present a medium-term risk. Commodity prices have generally risen recently, although Australia's terms of trade are still expected to decline over the period ahead.

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