Interest Rates Remain On Hold As Reserve Bank Sees “Period Of Stability”

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged for the eighth consecutive month.

At its board meeting today, the RBA left the cash rate at 2.5%. The rate was last changed in August last year.

The Reserve’s Governor, Glenn Stevens, said rates were unlikely to change in the near future: “In the Board’s judgement, monetary policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target. On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.”

Statement from the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Glenn Stevens.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

Growth in the global economy was a bit below trend in 2013, but there are reasonable prospects of a pick-up this year. The United States economy, while affected by adverse weather, continues its expansion and the euro area has begun a recovery from recession, albeit a fragile one. Japan has recorded a significant pick-up in growth. China’s growth remains generally in line with policymakers’ objectives, though it may have slowed a little in early 2014. Commodity prices have declined from their peaks but in historical terms remain high. [Read more...]


G20 Finance Ministers Commit To 2% GDP Growth Target

The G20 Finance Ministers have committed to a collective growth rate of 2% above the current trajectory over the next five years.

Hockey

Speaking after the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Sydney, Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “Realistically, these policies could mean an extra US$2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs.”

Each country in the group has agreed to deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

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Media release from the Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

CONCLUSION OF G20 FINANCE MINISTERS AND CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS MEETING IN SYDNEY

Today marks the conclusion of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney, which is the first on Australia’s soil as part of our host year.

In an unprecedented statement, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors committed to implement policies to grow our collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the current trajectory over the next five years. [Read more...]


Joe Hockey Speech To Lowy Institute: “The Age Of Personal And Corporate Responsibility Has Begun”

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has delivered a speech in which he says the age of personal and corporate responsibility has begun.

Hockey

Addressing the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Hockey said: “Individuals must do more for themselves, they must become more self-reliant. And the business sector must shoulder more of the burden. It must restore corporate accountability, and rely less on government assistance. It must stand on its own feet, and it must pay its fair share of tax.”

Hockey spoke at length of Australia’s role this year as president of the G20. He said: “The G20 is definitely the right body to take the wheel… Because G20 members account for 85 per cent of the world economy, 80 per cent of trade and about two thirds of foreign direct investment.”

Hockey said Australia “must play to its strengths”. He said Australia would work to promote stronger economic growth and better employment outcomes, and help to make the global economy more resilient and able to deal with future shocks. [Read more...]


Tony Abbott Addresses World Economic Forum In Davos

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Abbott

Abbott began his speech with an overview of world economic conditions and the prospects for growth. He reiterated his election campaign themes and said Australia was now “open for business”.

Abbott said his government’s aim is to ensure that every “fit” person of working age remained in the workforce, either in a paid capacity or some other form.

The Prime Minister spoke of Australia’s role as president of the G20 over the coming year. He said he was looking forward to discussions in Brisbane about the digital economy and world infrastructure. He emphasised the importance of free markets and the need for governments to get out of the way of industry. “Government doesn’t create growth,” he said. “People do, when they run profitable businesses.”

“Better governance is not the same as more government,” Abbott told the forum.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Address to the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.

THIS YEAR’S G20: GETTING THE FUNDAMENTALS RIGHT

Abbott

For more than 40 years, this World Economic Forum at Davos has been an important contributor to global progress.

It has brought together some of the best thinkers and most important decision-makers: not to dwell on problems but to focus on opportunities.

As 2014 begins, it’s easier to be optimistic. [Read more...]


Inflation Up Slightly; Hockey Blames Carbon Tax

Inflation edged up slightly in the December quarter and Treasurer Joe Hockey says it’s the fault of the carbon tax.

HockeyThe December quarter rise in the Consumer Price Index was 0.8%. Headline inflation was 2.7% through the year, up from 2.2% in the September quarter.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “The inflation rate continues to be impacted by Labor’s Carbon Tax.” He said electricity prices have increased by 22.5% since the introduction of the tax in July 2012. He called on Labor senators to pass the carbon tax repeal legislation when Parliament meets again in February.

Hockey also commented on new figures from the International Monetary Fund which project that global economic growth will increase from 3% in 2013 to 3.7% in 2014. He said: “The IMF underscores the importance of managing vulnerabilities, notwithstanding the expected strengthening in global economic activity.”

Media release from Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Consumer Price Index – December Quarter 2013

Today’s release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the December Quarter shows that inflation is slightly above the middle of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target band. [Read more...]