The RBA has decided to leave the official cash rate unchanged at 2 per cent for the sixth consecutive month.
NAB group chief economist Alan Oster said that local data are still improving and that it was time to “wait and see if any weakness emerges from recent banks’ out-of-cycle rate rises on housing”.
ING Direct’s head of treasury, Michael Witts, agreed that the RBA continues to express the view that current interest rate levels are about right and that “interest rates alone are not the only policy tool”.
Prior to the RBA announcement, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said it seemed unlikely the RBA would move immediately to offset bank rate rises with a 0.25 per cent rate cut.
“However, last week we noted the historical precedent of 2012 when the RBA cut by 0.5 per cent in May following increases of only 0.10 per cent in variable mortgage rates by the banks,” he said before the announcement.
St George group senior economist Janu Chan likewise predicted interest rates would remain the same.
“Some risks to the global economy have risen, but the RBA is becoming increasingly confident with the transition from mining to nonmining sectors of the economy,” said Ms Chan.
“The RBA does not seem inclined to move rates anytime soon.”