AU: RBA Meeting Minutes

Mon Jun 18 20:30:00 CDT 2018

The Reserve Bank of Australia has published the minutes of its June 5 meeting. Officials at that meeting kept the policy interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1.50 percent, again concluding that current policy settings were consistent with sustainable growth and achieving the inflation target "over time". This rate was last changed in August 2016 when it was cut by 25 basis points.

In line with the statement released following the meeting, the minutes note that officials consider that recent data have been consistent with their forecast that domestic economic growth will pick up over the rest of the year, supported by stronger exports and non-mining investment. The minutes also show that officials continue to expect price pressures to remain subdued and to strengthen only gradually as economic conditions improve.

The discussion in the minutes for the June meeting, however, is somewhat more cautious about the policy outlook than that shown in the minutes of the May meeting. In the May meeting, the minutes noted that officials agreed that it was more likely that the next move in policy rates would be up, rather than down, though they also acknowledged there was no strong case for a near-term adjustment. The minutes for the June meeting make no such reference to the likely direction of the next move in policy rates and merely notes officials views that keeping rates unchanged was the appropriate move for now.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) publishes minutes of its meetings with a two week lag. The text expands on the statement published two weeks earlier at the time of the announcement.

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.