Finance advice

Rates on hold

By Jessica Darnbrough

At its first board meeting for 2013, the Reserve Bank has decided to leave the official cash rate on hold.

Earlier today, the board judged that it was prudent to take a wait and see approach to rates, leaving the cash rate stable at 3 per cent.

Speaking about the Reserve Bank’s decision, RP Data’s national research director Tim Lawless said the RBA was “reasonable satisfied” with how the housing market has played out since it embarked on the rate cutting cycle back in November 2011.

“Since that time dwelling values across the combined capital cities of Australia have increased by 0.8 per cent, and values are up 3.1 per cent since bottoming out at the end of May last year,” he said.

“Most other indicators are also showing some subtle improvements, albeit from a low base.  

“Consumer confidence has shown some improvement, commodity prices are once again on the rise, and share markets have shown some consistent gains as well.  

“The big wild card remains the labour market; how high will unemployment go and at what level will the RBA react with a further cut to the cash rate.”

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