RBA keeps cash rate on hold.
At its July Board meeting, the RBA has decided to maintain its current policy settings – this includes holding the official cash rate at 0.25%.
In a statement accompanying the decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said –
The global economy has experienced a severe downturn as countries seek to contain the coronavirus. Many people have lost their jobs and there has been a sharp rise in unemployment. Leading indicators have generally picked up recently, suggesting the worst of the global economic contraction has now passed. Despite this, the outlook remains uncertain and the recovery is expected to be bumpy and will depend upon containment of the coronavirus.
The Bank’s market operations are continuing to support a high level of liquidity in the Australian financial system. Authorised deposit-taking institutions are continuing to draw on the Term Funding Facility, with total drawings to date of around $15 billion. Further use of this facility is expected over coming months.
The Australian economy is going through a very difficult period and is experiencing the biggest contraction since the 1930s. Since March, an unprecedented 800,000 people have lost their jobs, with many others retaining their job only because of government and other support programs. Conditions have, however, stabilised recently and the downturn has been less severe than earlier expected.
Notwithstanding the signs of a gradual improvement, the nature and speed of the economic recovery remains highly uncertain. Uncertainty about the health situation and the future strength of the economy is making many households and businesses cautious, and this is affecting consumption and investment plans. The pandemic is also prompting many firms to reconsider their business models. As some businesses rehire workers as demand returns, others are restructuring their operations.
The Board is committed to do what it can to support jobs, incomes and businesses and to make sure that Australia is well placed for the recovery. Its actions are keeping funding costs low and supporting the supply of credit to households and businesses. This accommodative approach will be maintained as long as it is required. The Board will not increase the cash rate target until progress is being made towards full employment and it is confident that inflation will be sustainably within the 2–3 per cent target band.
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