THE RESERVE Bank of Australia has left interest rates on hold at 3 per cent for the second month in a row.
In a statement accompanying the decision today, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said most indicators suggested that economic growth in Australia was close to trend, helped by an increase in investment in the resources sector.
“Looking ahead, the peak in resource investment is approaching,” he said.
“As it does, there will be more scope for some other areas of demand to strengthen. Present indications are that moderate growth in private consumption spending is occurring, though a return to the very strong growth of some years ago is unlikely.”
But the Australian National Retailers Association called the decision “unhelpful.”
“There was some good news for the retail sector with the January 2013 retail figures showing a much needed 0.9% lift, but this comes off the back of another poor Christmas shopping period,” said ANRA CEO Margy Osmond.
“For those Aussies in the mortgage belt, a bonus payment for school fees is a welcome boost to the family budget, but Aussie families need long term solutions, not short term income boosts to return to the levels of spending that retail needs to see.”