Tag Archives: interest rates

RBA cuts interest rates

The Reserve Bank has cut interest rates for the first time in more than 2½ years, bringing relief to households and corporate borrowers.

As widely tipped by economists, the central bank today lowered its key cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 per cent. The move reversed the increase imposed on Melbourne Cup Day last year, the most recent time the RBA has shifted rates. Continue reading RBA cuts interest rates

RBA extends interest rate pause

The Reserve Bank has left its key interest rate unchanged for another month, ignoring for now the gathering signs of a slowdown in global growth.

The central bank kept its cash rate at 4.75 per cent where it’s sat since Melbourne Cup Day last year.

The RBA’s decision was widely expected as the central bank attempts to weigh the threat of higher inflation from a rekindled mining boom against weaker growth for much of the rest of the economy. Turmoil on financial markets – which has knocked about 15 per cent off local share values in the past three months alone – was also not enough to prompt a rate reduction. Continue reading RBA extends interest rate pause

Big banks cut fixed rates in response to world turmoil

A WEEK ago experts were warning interest rates were going up. Now lenders are cutting them.

Sydney-based banks – Commonwealth, Westpac and St George – led the pack yesterday reducing their interest rates on fixed-term loans.

The fixed-term rates offered by these lenders are now well below the average discount variable rates which rise and fall with movements in the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate. Continue reading Big banks cut fixed rates in response to world turmoil

Carbon tax may trigger rate hikes ahead of its July 2012 introduction

THE risk that the carbon tax will trigger interest rate rises is, in the words of at least one economist yesterday, “a foreseeable risk”.

Economists yesterday broadly agreed with the Government’s forecast that the tax would lead to a 0.7 per cent boost to inflation – low enough to allow the RBA to “look through” the rise when considering future interest rates. Continue reading Carbon tax may trigger rate hikes ahead of its July 2012 introduction

Home loans: to fix or not to fix?

Interest rates are on hold for now but economists expect the next move to be up.

Home buyers are turning to fixed-rate mortgages in response to the steady rise in interest rates last year and predictions that rates will go higher this year.

Mortgage broker AFG publishes a monthly mortgage index, which shows that the proportion of fixed-rate mortgages increased from just 2 per cent of its total new lending at the start of last year to 3.4 per cent in July and then 12.6 per cent in December. Continue reading Home loans: to fix or not to fix?