RBA to hold rates

By webmaster

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep rates on hold when it meets later today as strong economic data continues to emerge.

Yesterday, the ANZ Job Advertisement Series found the labour market is strengthening month on month.

According to the latest series, the number of job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers rose 3.3 per cent in February, following an upwardly revised 7.5 per cent rise in January.

Total job advertisements were 3.6 per cent higher than in February 2011. The number of seasonally adjusted job advertisements is now at the highest level since November 2008.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the data showed total job advertising in Australia troughed in late 2011 and is picking up strongly in early 2012.

"If these hiring intentions are converted into actual jobs then it appears that the Australian labour market is in for a gradual improvement over the course of 2012," he said.

"This greatly reduces the chances of a material rise in the unemployment rate over the year ahead. We are confident that the unemployment rate will track sideways between 5 per cent and 5.5 per cent for much of 2012.

Mr Hogan went on to say while the economic forces at work across Australia remain complex, these figures suggest that the economy is well placed from a general cyclical point of view.

"Strong capital expenditure intentions and rising job advertising suggests that the chance of further interest rate reductions from the RBA are much reduced. Improving sentiment in global financial markets and rising commodity prices reinforce this view," he said.

RBA to hold rates
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