An interest rate pause as RBA adopts 'wait and see' strategy | Kanebridge News
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An interest rate pause as RBA adopts ‘wait and see’ strategy

Economic conditions remain tight as the board refuses to rule out further increases before the year ends

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Aug 1, 2023 3:01pmGrey Clock 2 min

Interest rates have been left on hold following the meeting of the RBA Board today.

The cash rate will remain at 4.1 percent as the board acknowledged the need to balance drawing down inflation against the possibility of a looming recession.

Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement that returning inflation to a more manageable level within ‘a more reasonable time frame’ is still the board’s objective but that recent data points to a 2 to 3 percent target ‘over the forecast horizon’.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics last week released data that inflation had fallen for the second consecutive month to 6 percent, down from a high of 7.8 percent in December 2022.

Dr Lowe said it would most likely take a year or more to return inflation to the target range but that the board was determined to do so.

“Inflation in Australia is declining but is still too high at 6 percent,” he said. “Goods price inflation has eased, but the prices of many services are rising briskly. Rent inflation is also elevated. 

“The central forecast is for CPI inflation to continue to decline, to be around 3¼ per cent by the end of 2024 and to be back within the 2–3 percent target range in late 2025.”

Dr Lowe also forewarned that further interest rates could not be ruled out.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said while the news would be welcomed by mortgage holders, the economic pressures that could trigger further rises remain.

“Highlighting the uncertainty ahead, some economists have already called a peak in the rate hiking cycle, others believe there will be one more hike in the coming months, while others are pricing in two more rate hikes on the basis of tight labour market conditions potentially feeding wages growth and keeping inflation higher for longer,” he said. “The range of cash rate forecasts reflects the sheer uncertainty in the economy.”

PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh, said the decision allowed the RBA Board to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

“This (decision) gives the RBA more time to assess the impact of rate rises already delivered on households, businesses, and economic conditions.” 

The RBA Board will meet again in September, which will be Dr Lowe’s last meeting as governor. Michele Bullock will step into the role when Dr Lowe vacates the position on September 17.



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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