AU: RBA Meeting Minutes

Mon May 18 20:30:00 CDT 2015

The Reserve Bank of Australia published minutes from its monetary policy meeting held earlier this month. At that time, the RBA lowered its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.0 percent.

The Board saw the case for a rate cut but debated its timing that is whether it would occur in May or later. Waiting would give the Board additional information from the budget. But they decided that the rate cut was consistent with the revised RBA staff forecasts. They further agreed that the statement would not contain guidance on the future path of rates. The Board felt that offering no guidance would limit the scope for future action.

Regarding the Australian dollar, they noted that a further fall in the value of the currency seemed likely and necessary. Currency developments were a likely input for business investment decisions. The Board also discussed the potential risks of imbalances for low interest rates.

The RBA issues minutes of its meetings with a two week lag.

Although the RBA's Reserve Bank Board issues a detailed statement at the conclusion of its monthly meetings, investors also look to the minutes for a more detailed description of current economic outlook both domestically and abroad along with the latest RBB policy thinking.

It is only recently that the RBA has released meeting minutes. At the conclusion of their December 2007 meeting, the RBA announced several changes to its communications policy. Previously, a statement was released only if a policy change was made. Now a statement is released at the conclusion of every meeting. Another change concerned the timing of the policy announcement. Rather than waiting until the next day, the announcement occurs immediately after the conclusion of the meeting. In addition, minutes are now released two weeks after the meeting.