RBA may wait to raise rates

Saturday 7 February 2004

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may signal that a slowing housing market and a rising currency has reduced the urgency to raise interest rates when it presents its quarterly statement on the economy on Monday.

By The Landlord

Market participants are eagerly awaiting the Statement on Monetary Policy, the first from the central bank this year, to gauge the outlook for interest rates and the economy.

The RBA raised the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point in November, after holding it steady for 16 months and followed with another hike in December.

Economists are forecasting at least one more quarter percentage point rise in the first half of this year but the RBA stayed its hand, keeping the key rate at 5.25 per cent, when board members met this week.

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