Market Update

Market Update

The cash rate was cut to a record low this week of 2.75%.

In 2012 the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate four times but the May board meeting ordered the first reduction for 2013.

In a statement, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said low inflation allowed the board to make a further reduction to boost economic growth.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said nothing much has changed economically since the April meeting where the board kept the cash rate unchanged.

“The Reserve Bank has adopted the global central bank mantra of doing whatever it takes to get the economy growing at a faster rate,” he said.

“There are risks in cutting rates to generational lows but the Reserve Bank believes it is a risk worth taking.

House prices rise slightly

Australian house prices rose in the first three months of 2013 by 0.1%, below what economists had forecast.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the figures suggested the housing market had yet to feel the full benefit of last year’s interest rate cuts.

“This may be one of the things the RBA is pointing to when it says the effects of the interest rate cuts delivered last year have yet to be fully felt,” he said.