RBA announce May rate hold

RBA announce May rate hold
RBA announce May rate hold

The RBA kept the official cash rate at 0.25 per cent at today's May meeting.

There's still little suggestion from the board that they will cut rates to 0, or even in to minus.

RBA governor Philip Lowe says the bank will maintain its efforts to keep funding costs low in Australia and credit available to households and businesses.

Lowe suggested there's potential for a stronger economic recovery if there is further substantial progress in containing the coronavirus in the near term and there is a faster return to normal economic activity.

Westpac's chief economist Bill Evans says to expect the rate to stay at 0.25 per cent until at least 2023.

CoreLogic's head of research Tim Lawless says the cash rate setting translates to extremely low mortgage rates. 

"Average variable mortgage rates for owner occupiers are below 3% while investor variable mortgage rates are in the low 3% range", Lawless says, adding that fixed term mortgage rates are even lower. 

"Such a low cost of debt is a key factor that should help to support housing demand as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 hibernation. 

"Additionally we continue to see refinancing related activity across CoreLogic valuation platforms tracking at elevated levels relative to the same time last year as mortgagors seek out the most competitive interest rates available.

The ABS announced this morning that nearly one million people lost their jobs in the last five weeks.

Total employee jobs decreased by 7.5 per cent, while total wages paid by employers decreased by just over eight per cent.

PM Scott Morrison spoke unusually during the RBA announcement, discussing how to get Australian's back to work.

"As long as these restrictions are in place, they are costing our economy some $4 billion a week," Morrison said, adding the government are under no illusion of the pressures.



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