Interest rates hold for April following RBA meeting | Kanebridge News
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Interest rates hold for April following RBA meeting

It’s welcome news for mortgage holders amid cost of living pressures

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Apr 4, 2023 3:10pmGrey Clock 2 min

The RBA has decided to keep interest rates on hold following a meeting of the board this afternoon. In a widely anticipated move and amid growing pressure from government and key players in the housing sector, the Reserve Bank of Australia has broken a 10-month streak of consecutive rises in the cash rate, leaving interest rates at 3.6 percent.

In a statement released earlier today, governor of monetary policy at the RBA, Philip Lowe, reaffirmed last month’s assertion that ‘monetary policy operates at a lag’ but said it was likely that inflation in Australia has already peaked, with further falls expected over the course of this year and next.

Inflation hit a high of 8.4 percent in December 2022 but fell slightly in January to 7.4 percent and again in February to 6.8 percent.
“Goods price inflation is expected to moderate over the months ahead due to global developments and softer demand in Australia,” Mr Lowe said in a statement. 

“Meanwhile, rents are increasing at the fastest rate in some years, with vacancy rates low in many parts of the country. The prices of utilities are also rising quickly. 

“The central forecast is for inflation to decline this year and next, to around 3 percent in mid-2025. Medium-term inflation expectations remain well anchored, and it is important that this remains the case.”

The news has been received positively by the building and property sectors.

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said the decision to pause a further rise was welcome.

“Interest rate rises coupled with rising inflation have forced building and construction activity and new homes sales to slow sharply over the last few months,” she said in a statement.

 “A strong building industry is the foundation of a strong economy. The close interdependence between the health of the construction industry and the economy’s fate is clear to see in the current environment.

“The RBA has rightfully recognised the negative impacts of rapidly rising interest rates on accelerating rental prices and construction activity.”

CoreLogic research director, Tim Lawless, said the decision would boost confidence in the property market ahead of further falls in the rate of inflation.

“An increased level of certainty around the rate hiking cycle should flow through to an improvement in consumer sentiment, which has been stuck at levels seen during the worst of the Global Financial Crisis and early phase of the pandemic,” he said. 

“We know that consumer sentiment and housing market activity have a close relationship, so any upwards movement in spirits could see more buyers and sellers returning to the market, although we would need to see sentiment lift materially before returning to average levels.”

 



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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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