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Financial News: RBA Minutes: Australia Economic Growth Slowed In Q2

RBA Minutes: Australia Economic Growth Slowed In Q2

07/17/2017 - 22:45:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Members of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy board said that the country's economic recovery has slowed in recent months, minutes from the bank's July 4 meeting revealed on Tuesday.

That prompted the members to maintain a level of careful monitoring for economic conditions, although the depreciating currency rate continues to support the recovery.

On the whole, the global economy continues to recover in satisfactory fashion, the minutes said.

At the meeting, the RBA kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 1.50 percent for the tenth consecutive meeting.

The bank had reduced the rate by 25-basis points each in August and May last year.

"The board judged that holding the accommodative stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time," the minutes said.

The Australian economy is expected to strengthen gradually, with the transition to lower levels of mining investment following the mining investment boom almost complete.

Business investment picked up in areas not directly affected by the decline in mining investment. At the same time, consumption growth remains subdued, reflecting slow growth in real wages and high levels of household debt, RBA said.

Indicators of the labor market remain mixed, the bank noted. The various forward-looking indicators point to continued growth in employment over the period ahead.

"Members noted that the broad-based recovery in the global economy had continued. There had been further signs that investment was increasing and labor markets had tightened further in many advanced economies. This was expected to lead to a pick-up in growth in wages and prices over time," the minutes said.

Further, the bank said wage growth remains low, however, and this is likely to continue for a while yet. At the same time, inflation is forecast to increase gradually as the economy strengthens.

The outlook continues to be supported by the low level of interest rates.

"They assessed that current economic conditions in Australia, and the outlook for growth and inflation, meant that developments in the labor and housing markets continued to warrant careful monitoring," the minutes said.

Also on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total number of new motor vehicle sales in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent on month in June, coming in at 102,275.

That follows the 3.1 percent jump in May.

Sales for passenger vehicles added 0.5 percent, along with sports utility vehicles (1.4 percent) and other vehicles (1.3 percent.

The largest upward movement across all states and territories was in the Northern Territory (2.8 percent),

On a yearly basis, sales advanced 3.6 percent, slowing from 5.3 percent in the previous month.

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