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  • Writer's pictureCameron Bird Property Group

First RBA Decision of 2024 Sees Interest Rates Kept On Hold

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) opted to maintain the interest rates at 4.35% during its first decision of 2024, announced on Tuesday, February 6th. The RBA's Monetary Policy Decision primarily focused on inflation, which remained high at 4.1% but showed a slight decrease compared to the forecasts from November.

This decision should alleviate concerns among borrowers about potential rate hikes shortly, although the RBA's minutes indicated that a rate cut was not imminent and even suggested the possibility of a rise. The Board emphasised that while recent data suggested a moderation in inflation, it remained high and would take time to reach the target range sustainably.

The decision to keep rates unchanged was widely anticipated, with most analysts adopting a wait-and-see approach regarding the RBA's actions. Despite varied opinions among experts, the consensus suggests that rates will remain stable in the short term, with potential adjustments later in the year.

The RBA has defended its stance on interest rates, asserting that higher rates are necessary to achieve a balanced economy. Despite calls for immediate rate cuts, the central bank remains committed to its strategy, emphasising the gradual easing of conditions in the labour market and its impact on inflation and household consumption.

Looking ahead, forecasts indicate that inflation may return to the target range by 2025, further indicating that any rate cuts may be deferred until at least the latter part of 2024.

Economists from major banks anticipate rate cuts this year, with varying predictions on timing and frequency.

In a notable shift, the RBA has transitioned to a reduced meeting schedule, convening eight times a year instead of eleven, with meetings no longer scheduled for April, July, October, and January. This change may lead to more significant rate adjustments during each meeting.

In summary, the official cash rate in Australia remains at 4.35% following the RBA's decision in February 2024.


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