RBA pausing rate hikes

RBA Not Keen on Negative Rates: Highlights

Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

In its latest monetary policy meeting minutes published earlier today, the RBA highlighted the possibility of a recession in the Australian economy ahead of rolling out its QE program last month. In this meeting, the central bank had also announced an emergency rate cut of 0.25% and other steps to protect the economy from the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The RBA policymakers also expressed confidence that rates were now adequately low and saw no reason for further rate cuts into negative territory. Economic forecasts cannot be put out yet because the situation surrounding coronavirus continues to worsen, not only in Australia but around the world as well.

With the minutes hinting at rates holding steady, economists now anticipate that the RBA could tweak the scope of its bond purchase program as part of additional stimulus efforts, if required. Since rolling out its QE program on March 20, the RBA has purchased around AUD 24 billion worth of sovereign and state bonds.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has announced fiscal stimulus measures worth around AUD 320 billion to support the economy through the coronavirus crisis. Economic activity in the country is expected to be severely impacted by the lockdown measures, and economists expect unemployment rate to rise in the coming months as well.

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