The Reserve Bank of Australia published minutes of its monetary policy meeting held earlier this month. The minutes noted that both domestic and international financial developments would guide the outlook for the Australian economy. Recent data has raised concern about China and East Asian growth.
Domestically, weak industrial production and lower exports were due to below average Asian growth. Spare capacity remains and domestic cost pressures are very low. Labour market conditions are somewhat better than expected earlier. The RBA expects the jobless rate to stay flat or fall slightly in the months ahead. The Bank noted that there was further evidence of a rebalance in the economy toward non0mining activity. There are also some signs of an easing in the Sydney housing price increase. However, it is too early to be confident the housing price slowdown will be sustained.
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.
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