The Reserve Bank has decided to again leave official interest rates on hold at its regular monthly meeting today. Rates have now been steady since the decision by the Bank in August last year to cut rates to a 60 year low of 2.5 percent.
The national economy continues to provide positive signs of improvement although outcomes remains mixed between regions and sectors.
The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6 percent over February – the highest monthly rate since July 2003. Despite a flat unemployment rate, 47,300 jobs were created over the month. Steady rises continue in retail sales and construction with export activity also improving. The stockmarket continues to rise gradually although the recent upward trajectory of the dollar is contrary to the Banks preferred position.
Although official rates remain on hold, mortgage costs continue to fall as competition amongst banks for market share intensifies in a generally positive environment for home buyer activity in most housing markets.
Buyer activity in the Sydney weekend home auction market remains at record levels with the Melbourne auction market continuing to report solid results.
“The Reserve Bank has unsurprisingly decided to leave official interest rates at current settings over April. Although recent economic data has been generally positive with emerging rising trends in retail sales, construction and exports, outcomes remain mixed between states and regions.
Home buyer activity continues at the highest level for nearly four years, although recent strong prices growth particularly in Sydney and Melbourne is expected to moderate.Although more positive signs continue to emerge on the economy, official interest rates are likely to remain on hold for the foreseeable future with any future move heavily dependent on the state of the jobs market”, says Dr Andrew Wilson, Senior Economist for Australian Property Monitors.