BUSINESS Australia's interest rate held at one percent by central bank


Australia's interest rate held at one percent by central bank


14:18, September 03, 2019


File photo: VCG

SYDNEY, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has decided to keep the official interest rate on hold at one percent, following a monthly board meeting on Tuesday.

The country's interest rate will remain at the all-time low for a second month, after it was cut by 0.25 basis points at the June and July meetings.

Most observers were expecting the outcome of this month's meeting, however markets are pricing in at least another cut before the end of the year, either in October or November.

A statement released by RBA Governor Philip Lowe after the meeting supported the likelihood of a prolonged period of low rates as well as the possibility of further cuts.

"It is reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required in Australia to make progress in reducing unemployment and achieve more assured progress towards the inflation target," Lowe said.

The decision comes one day before the release of Australia's second quarter GDP figures which are widely expected to show the weakest growth in nearly two decades.

Wage growth and unemployment remain a focus for improving the economy according to the RBA, which some observers believe will necessitate further cuts.

"The focus on the labour market remains, and with the unemployment rate still at 5.2 percent -- despite continued solid jobs growth -- we expect to see further easing this year and in early 2020 to support employment and wages growth," BIS Oxford Economics' chief economist Sarah Hunter said in a note on the RBA's decision.

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