RBA expected to drop rates

MOST Australians are expecting the Reserve Bank of Australia to reduce official interest rates again when its board meets next week for the first time this year, a national survey by leading mortgage broker Loan Market has found.

The Loan Market poll which asked "What will the RBA do with interest rates at its February 7 meeting?' found 66 per cent of respondents believed the RBA would cut rates.

Thirty nine per cent of the 572 online poll respondents thought the central bank would lower the cash rate from the current 4.25% to 4% - the lowest level since March, 2010.

Twenty seven per cent of those surveyed thought the RBA might slash rates by as much as half a percentage point.

Twenty eight per cent tipped rates to stay on hold while only 6% are expecting a rate rise.

Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said consumers were clearly counting on more rate cuts in the first half of 2012.

"The RBA lowering rates in November and December last year was an appropriate course of action which was a welcome relief for borrowers and struggling sectors such as retail," he said.

"But there are no signs of an improvement in the current global economic environment, particularly the volatile situation in Europe.

"While the fundamentals of the Australian economy remain quite strong and consumer sentiment has improved, sections of the economy can benefit from the stimulus provided by more interest rate cuts."


Council, ARTC at odds over passenger rail plans for Lockyer

Premium Content Council, ARTC at odds over passenger rail plans for Lockyer

“AT the moment, we’ve got virtually nothing.” Council calls for passenger rail...

LNP’s $7m pledge to fix dodgy Lowood to Fernvale road

Premium Content LNP’s $7m pledge to fix dodgy Lowood to Fernvale road

IF successful, tenders will be sent out within the first 100 days.

Fatal levels of nicotine in Queensland vapes

Premium Content Fatal levels of nicotine in Queensland vapes

Poisons lines inundated with calls about nicotine poisoning from vapers