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RBA keeps interest rates on hold – 5 March 2019

Australian Financial Review.

The official cash rate has been held at its record low of 1.5 per cent for the 28th time in a row suggesting the uncertainty in the economy continues but that a 3 per cent growth target is still achievable.

“The main domestic uncertainty continues to be the strength of household consumption in the context of weak growth in household income and falling housing prices in some cities,” the board said in its statement.

“The central scenario is still for the Australian economy to grow by around 3 per cent this year,” the board said pointing to rising business investment, higher levels …

RBA rates on hold in first meeting of 2019 – 5 February 2019

Australian Financial Review

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia has held the official interest rate steady at 1.5 per cent, acknowledging risks have increased and downgrading its outlook for the economy which is softening according to new data published Tuesday.

Following its first monetary policy meeting of 2019, RBA governor Philip Lowe said in a statement ​the central scenario is for the domestic economy to grow about 3 per cent this year and a little less in 2020, down from the 3.5 per cent it forecast in December.

Adding to its slightly less upbeat tone, the RBA said underlying inflation would take a “little …

Retirees angry about franking refunds are ‘perfectly entitled to vote against us’: Chris Bowen – 30 January 2019

Australian Financial Review

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said retirees unhappy with Labor’s plan to scrap cash payments for excess franking credits were free to take their vote elsewhere because the Opposition would not be backing down.

As the government builds pressure on Labor over the policy which could see up to 900,000 self-funded retiress lose income, Mr Bowen said the system in which people who pay no or little tax but receive a tax refund was neither fair nor sustainable.

Speaking on the ABC on Wednesday, Mr Bowen, in response to a complaint from a listener that he would be $5000 a year worse off, …

December quarter CPI at 0.5pc beats expectations – 30 January 2019

Inflation over the December quarter has marginally beaten economists forecasts thanks to a rise in the cost of tobacco, domestic holiday expenses and fruit.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released its consumer price index data on Wednesday, showing a 1.8 per cent rise in inflation in the 12 months to December 2018 and a 0.5 per cent rise since the September 2018 quarter.

Economists predicted inflation would slow to 1.7 per cent on a year-on-year measure and 0.4 per cent over the December quarter. This is the first time in eight quarters that the CPI has beaten expectations.

“Today’s data confirms inflationary pressures in …

Reserve Bank of Australia keeps cash rate on hold at 1.5pc – 4 December 2018

Australian Financial Review

The Reserve Bank of Australia extended its record-breaking run of inaction on rates, keeping the official cash rate on hold for a 28th consecutive month.

Following its December meeting on Tuesday, the RBA kept the official cash rate at 1.5 per cent but was slightly more positive on the labour market citing a pick-up in wages growth last month.

“The outlook for the labour market remains positive. The unemployment rate is 5 per cent, the lowest in six years,” said RBA Governor Philip Lowe in his statement.

“With the economy expected to continue to grow above trend, a further reduction in the unemployment …

International Monetary Fund sees strong Australian growth, but global risks – 20 November 2018

Australian Financial Review

The International Monetary Fund says Australia’s strong economic growth is expected to continue in the near term, gradually leading to an uptick in wages and inflation.

The IMF’s review of the Australian economy also welcomed the cooling housing market, urged a higher goods and services tax to fund lower corporate taxes and told the government to stick with its budget surplus plan.

But the fund warns of “downside” risks from the global economy, due to a slowing China and the US-China tariff fight, which could delay Australia’s economy soaking up spare capacity.

“A sharp tightening of global financial conditions could spill over into domestic financial markets, …

Morrison government fund offers $2b boost for SME loans – 14 November 2018

Australian Financial Review

The Morrison government will inject $2 billion into the small business loan market in an unprecedented effort to boost lending to cash-starved firms which have complained of a worsening credit squeeze.

The creation of a taxpayer-backed securitisation fund to invest in small and medium enterprise (SME) credit will also potentially expand an asset class for institutional investors such as superannuation funds to invest in.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash will announce the small business funding policy on Wednesday, promoting the soon-to-be-established Australian Business Securitisation Fund as a way to overcome banks typically only lending to the self-employed when …

Reserve Bank of Australia keeps cash rate on hold at 1.5pc – 6 November 2018

Australian Financial Review

The Reserve Bank of Australia is clinging to its record low interest rate setting even after upgrading its economic and inflation outlook and tipping the jobless rate to fall to a decade-low of 4.75 per cent.

RBA governor Philip Lowe said in a statement on Tuesday that economic growth was forecast to average about 3.5 per cent this year and in 2019, above trends since the 2008 global financial crisis and slightly more than the RBA’s previous estimates of 3.25 per cent.

The central bank’s outlook for the labour market was also more positive and it noted skill shortages were starting to bite in some areas as it hopes for a …

Non-bank lender Liberty says funding costs will remain elevated – 17 October 2018

Non-bank lender Liberty does not expect relief from elevated funding costs that have contributed to interest rate increases and put pressure on key measures of profitability.

Liberty chief executive James Boyle said the lending sector had been under more scrutiny than ever before with multiple reviews from regulators and the Hayne royal commission but viewed it as a positive saying the sector was lifting its game.

“Those changes have led to changes within our market… our industry has changed more over the last 18 months than at any time in our past,” Mr Boyle said.

On Wednesday morning, the privately owned lender reported a strong uptick in lending across …

RBA leaves interest rates on hold at 1.5pc for 21st meeting straight – 3 July 2018

The Reserve Bank of Australia left the official cash rate at a record-low for the 21st straight meeting on growing trade fears but expressed renewed confidence in an improvement in jobs and wages growth.

Extending the most sustained period of monetary policy stimulus in at least a quarter century, board members kept the benchmark rate at 1.5 per cent on Tuesday, despite signs of strengthening economy.

While the decision was widely anticipated, the statement largely defied predictions from some economists that there could be a further softening in the Reserve Bank’s language around the outlook for wages and inflation.

Instead, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe appeared to …