RBA opens door to rates cut

The RBA came under fierce criticism for its decision not to cut the cash rate in April, particularly from the struggling housing and construction sectors.
The RBA came under fierce criticism for its decision not to cut the cash rate in April, particularly from the struggling housing and construction sectors.
  • Board is waiting for demand to slow before easing the cash rate
  • Economy performed worse than expected in the second half of last year
  • Outlook for dwelling prices hit developer confidence hard

THE Reserve Bank board has left the door open for cutting the cash rate when it next meets in May, a week before Treasurer Wayne Swan hands down his fifth Federal Budget.

Board members had lowered their assessment of the pace of growth since cutting 25 basis points from the cash rate in December, minutes from their April 3 meeting reveal.

The Reserve board opted to leave the cash rate on hold at 4.25%.

"If slower growth in demand could be expected to result in a more moderate inflation outcome, then a case could be made for a further easing of monetary policy," the minutes read.

Minutes from the meeting indicate the board thought it "prudent" to assess an array of new data before considering an adjustment to monetary policy.

"The board would have the opportunity at its next meeting to review the inflation outlook based on comprehensive new data on prices, as well as information on demand and output," the minutes read.

The board indicated the Australian economy had performed below expectation in the latter part of last year.

"The national accounts for the December quarter had shown an increase in real GDP of 0.4% in the quarter and 2.3% over the year, which were both lower than expected," the minutes read.

"Private domestic demand had grown strongly over the year, led by growth in mining investment.

"However growth in exports over 2011 had been weaker than expected, mainly because of lower coal exports, which, in turn, reflected a slower recovery from the floods in Queensland in early 2011, together with a slower take-up of new rail and port facilities in NSW and Queensland."

The RBA came under fierce criticism for its decision not to cut the cash rate in April, particularly from the struggling housing and construction sectors.

Board members considered the challenges facing these industries in arriving at their April decision.

"Members spent some time exploring reasons for the weakness in many of the indicators for housing turnover and building activity across Australia," the minutes read.

"They noted the apparent sensitivity of developers to the outlook for dwelling prices. New dwelling construction had fallen in the December quarter and there was little sign of a pick-up in building or loan approvals, though house prices had shown some signs of stabilising recently."

Topics:  cash rate developers dwelling approvals rba wayne swan

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Motoring show to rev up support for hospital

FAMILY FUN: Three of the sensational cars that will be on display at the Gatton Auxiliary Show and Shine.

Car, Ute and Bike Show and Shine is coming to town for a good cause.

Student wins half price fees

FUTURE VET: Brook Cridland, winner of the Country Challenge on Campus.

Year 11 runner wins $4500 university prize.

Gatton and Forest Hill make it two from two

PACE: Gatton Fordsdale bowler Chris O'Brien sends a speedy delivery to Southern Lockyer's Shaun Ashley during the A-grade fixture at Ropehill on Saturday.

Gatton and Forest Hill both won their round two fixtures.

Local Partners

Do you recognise this distinctive blue and white ute?

IF you've seen a distinctive white tray-back ute with a blue bonnet around the region, the Gatton Police want you to contact them.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.