Australia keeps key interest rate on hold

Australia left its key interest rate unchanged Tuesday, with outgoing central bank governor Philip Lowe citing “uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook”.

It is the third consecutive month that the rate has been kept at 4.1 percent, following a string of rises aimed at taming runaway prices.

This was the final rates decision under Lowe’s governorship, as he will be replaced by current deputy Michele Bullock on September 18.

Lowe said inflation — which was recorded at six percent in the June quarter — had “passed its peak” but was “still too high and will remain so for some time yet”.

The bank’s priority is to return inflation to 2-3 percent by late 2025.

Lowe added: “Inflation is coming down, the labour market remains strong and the economy is operating at a high level of capacity utilisation, although growth has slowed.”

He said further rates rises could not be ruled out but that these would “depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks”.

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