RBA minutes: no strong case for a near-term adjustment in monetary policy
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board agreed that the next move in the cash rate is more likely to be an increase than a decrease but also believed there is no strong case for a near-term adjustment in monetary policy, minutes of the December 2018 meeting released soon before press time revealed.
Key points (Source: RBA)
- Expected Q3 GDP growth to be above 3 pct for the year (vs actual 2.8 pct)
- Expected GDP growth to run above potential this year and next
- Trade-weighted AUD remained within a range of recent years
- Recent sharp fall in oil prices likely to curb headline inflation globally
- The steady policy allowed RBA to be a source of stability and confidence
- Sluggish household incomes, high debt, and falling home prices "posed downside risks"
- Leading indicators pointed to above average jobs growth for the next couple of quarters
- Further fall in the unemployment rate likely
- Banks had slowed lending for housing investment and to small business
- There had been a "generalized tightening of credit availability"
- Noted a pick up in business lending by major banks to large businesses
- Board noted difficult to gauge underlying growth in the Chinese economy
- Growth had slowed in a number of economies globally, in part due to trade tensions