Monday, December 22, 2014   

Australia keeps interest rates at 2.5pc
(06-03 15:16)

Australia's central bank on Tuesday left interest rates on hold at a record low 2.5 percent as it sounded a cautiously optimistic note on the economy's transition away from mining-led growth.
The Reserve Bank continued to flag a period of unchanged rates in a statement that balanced a more positive outlook for the labor market and for firms' spending plans with a warning that a sharp fall-off in mining investment was still to come.
"In the board's judgement, monetary policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target,'' Governor Glenn Stevens said.
"On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.''
It was the ninth-consecutive board meeting where rates remained on hold.
The Australian dollar was largely unchanged following the decision, which was widely expected by economists and financial markets.
The central bank noted that the Australian dollar ``remains high by historical standards'', and said its strength over the past few months was more significant given the recent decline in commodity prices. --AFP   
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