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MNI (Sydney)
SYDNEY (MNI)

The Reserve Bank of Australia appears to be done with any changes to its monetary policy for 2021, with the next decision likely set for February when the central bank reviews its program of Quantitative Easing.

At its board meeting on Tuesday the RBA kept rates on hold at the record low of 0.10% and confirmed the pace of the bond buying program at the rate of AUD4 billion per week until mid-February, see: MNI BRIEF: RBA Expects A Rebound, But No Rate Hike Until 2024.

While the RBA Board will meet twice before the end of the year, it is unlikely to move on interest rates as the statement repeated the view that any increase in rates was unlikely before 2024 due to weak wages and inflation growth.

The RBA is also expected to keep its bond buying program as is to February, which will continue as the economy re-opens, vaccination levels increase and Australia opens to international travelers, probably in November.

THE PATHWAY

The pathway on opening will be guided by achieving an 80% rate of double vaccination, up from just over 45% in early October.

While the RBA believes the recent lockdowns will have only a temporary impact on the economic rebound, data on the key criteria of wages growth and inflation remain weak.

Core inflation is running at around 1.75% against the RBA target of 2% to 3%, while the Wage Price Index is at just 1.7%.

This means that monetary policy will remain easy for some time, and although the momentum for wages and inflation is slow that is not the case in the housing market, where record low rates are fueling a boom with national prices up 17.6% so far this year.

The RBA view has been that house price growth has been positive for consumer confidence and spending, and it has only been recently that RBA Assistant Governor Michelle Bullock sounded a warning on financial stability.

More will be revealed when the RBA releases its Financial Stability Review on Friday this week, but – beyond interest rates – the RBA's power to influence the housing market is limited with macroprudential responsibilities lying with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

MNI Sydney Bureau | +61-405-322-399 | lachlan.colquhoun.ext@marketnews.com
MNI Sydney Bureau | +61-405-322-399 | lachlan.colquhoun.ext@marketnews.com
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