AU: RBA Meeting Minutes

July 18, 2016 08:30 CDT

The Reserve Bank of Australia published minutes of its meeting held on July 5. At that time, the RBA left its policy interest rate at 1.75 percent where it had been since May. In the minutes, the RBA said it would adjust policy as appropriate given economic data, specifically GDP, inflation, labour and the housing market. Inflation is still expected to remain low for some time. Data suggest that GDP moderated in the second quarter on smaller net exports.

The minutes noted that the economic transition to non-resourced based economy is now advanced. However, a rising currency could complicate the necessary economic adjustments. Regarding the labour market, the RBA said that market conditions were mixed with part time jobs driving growth. The Board said that the underemployment rate is not down to the same extent as the jobless rate.

The RBA thinks that Brexit will have a modest impact on the global economy. The most noteworthy developments that had persisted beyond the volatility immediately surrounding the UK referendum were the depreciation of the pound, the appreciation of the yen and the decline in bond yields to historic lows in a number of major markets as well as in Australia.

It also noted that China's GDP appeared to have eased further. The Board noted that the general weakness in industrial activity had been partly offset by an increase in public sector spending, which had been particularly apparent in the strong growth of public infrastructure investment over the past year or so.

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.