RBA cut rates to 0.25 at emergency March meeting

RBA cut rates to 0.25 at emergency March meeting
RBA cut rates to 0.25 at emergency March meeting

The RBA have officially cut the cash rate to a record low 0.25 per cent at its emergency March meeting amid the economic downturn, as COVID-19 continues to dominate financial markets. 

It's the lowest the interest rate is set to given, as the RBA has already said 0.25 per cent is its lower bound.

The board met on Wednesday with the announcement made this afternoon.

"The RBA will not increase the cash rate target until progress is being made towards full employment and it is confident that inflation will be sustainably within the 2–3 per cent target band RBA Governor Philip Lowe said.

They want to hit 4.5 per cent unemployment rate. Today's ABS figures were at 5.1 per cent, although Westpac's Bill Evans says the unemployment rate could rise to seven per cent.

The Reserve Bank will provide a three-year funding facility to authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) at a fixed rate of 0.25 per cent.

They will have access to additional funding if they increase lending to business, especially to small and medium-sized businesses.

This facility is for at least $90 billion.

Lowe opened with the coronavirus implications.

"The coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, but it is also having a very major impact on the economy and the financial system" Lowe said.

"As the virus has spread, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures, including restricting movements within countries and within cities", Lowe added.

"The result has been major disruptions to economic activity across the world. This is likely to remain the case for some time yet as efforts continue to contain the virus."

They Reserve Bank also have said they will also continue to provide liquidity to Australian financial markets by conducting one-month and three-month repo operations in its daily market operations until further notice.

The RBA closely watch the US Federal Reserve, who cut their rates out-of-cycle earlier this month, cut again on Sunday night, slashing 100 basis points to a near zero cash rate.

In 2009 following the GFC, Labor's second stimulus package was around four per cent of GDP, which saved a recession.

In today's economy, that's around $80 billion.



Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

Rba Rate Decision Coronavirus

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