Australia keeps interest rates on hold | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 05, 2020

Australia keeps interest rates on hold

Australia’s central bank on Tuesday kept interest rates on hold at a record low, despite expected economic pain from the country’s devastating bushfire crisis and the deadly outbreak of coronavirus in China.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept the cost of borrowing unchanged since lowering rates to 0.75 percent in October as part of efforts to extend a record 29-year run without a recession.

On Tuesday, the bank shrugged off concerns over the economic impact of the months-long bushfire disaster, with RBA governor Philip Lowe saying the blazes would  “temporarily weigh on domestic growth” in the short term.

In a statement announcing rates would be kept on hold, Lowe pointed to slightly improved jobs figures -- with the unemployment rate declining to 5.1 percent in December -- and an uptick in previously flagging housing markets as factors in the decision.

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