Last week the Reserve Bank of Australia released their monetary policy report for April 2013. Interest rates are left unchanged, remaining at a competitively low 3 per cent. The RBA’s decision means that Australians will benefit from another month with a record low cash rate. Since the 0.25 per cent reduction in December 2012, the cash rate has remained unchanged. How might things alter in future? International economies and domestic spending will surely influence decisions throughout the remainder of 2013. C&G report.
As noted by Governor Glenn Stevens in previous months, the RBA’s most recent decision has been heavily influenced by the economic circumstances of China, the USA and Europe. Europe continues to operate in a recession-like environment without any promising signs for change in the near future. Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus are far from robust members of the EU currently. It’s not all bad news however – America has shown slow, consistent economic improvement. China is the envy of all nations, continuing to show signs of unprecedented growth. Since March, there haven’t been many ‘status changes’ to economies globally.
Internally, there have been some changes to the spending habits of Australians, including moderate growth in private consumption. A return to the vibrant consumer confidence and purchase of luxury goods experienced pre-GFC is not likely in the short term, however – with spending on-par with 2012’s records to date. The property market is steadily displaying signs of growth with rising dwelling prices and high rental yields. In relation to foreign trade, the export and mining industries continue to prosper.
While it seems like this economic news is similar to that reported in the past, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens notes that interest rate cuts in 2012 have had the desired effect. The outlook for Australia’s economy is generally positive with healthy employment rates, a strong dollar and expected further growth in the coming years.
Economic commentators are not expecting an interest rate change next month. With inflation close to the middle of the RBA’s target range, there is a chance rate cuts may be made later in the year – providing that there are no major incidences in exterior global economies.