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Rates to remain at record lows

By Staff Reporter
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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has signalled that interest rates are unlikely to rise anytime soon. 

The RBA has released the minutes of its most recent meeting on 4 March, which support hopes that the official cash rate might remain at 2.5 per cent for the rest of 2014.

“At recent meetings, the board had judged that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged, while noting that the cash rate could remain at its current level for some time if the economy was to evolve broadly as expected,” the minutes stated.

“Developments since the previous meeting had supported that assessment.”

Board members also agreed that the property market remained “strong”.

“Ongoing strength in the established housing market and low lending rates were expected to support new dwelling activity,” the RBA said.

“Loan approvals and first home buyer grants for new dwellings had also increased of late. [Board] members noted that construction firms were optimistic about the outlook and had reported a pick-up in enquiries from prospective new homebuyers.”

The RBA said the increase in borrowing had not been caused by a drop in lending standards.

“Members noted that the recent momentum in households' risk appetite and borrowing behaviour warranted close observation, but agreed that present conditions in the household sector did not pose a near-term risk to the financial system,” the minutes stated.

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