Interest Rates

4 Reasons Why the Australian Reserve Bank has not Cut Interest Rates

Australian Reserve Bank has not Cut Interest Rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has slashed interest rates to 3%, a record low, in November 2011. For the last 15 months, it has refused to increase or further cut it. The central bank has decided to leave the rates unchanged during its first policy meeting for this year, which was held in the first week of February. As it seems, the monetary policy of the country keeps the mode on a wait-and-see program.

Interest rates were last trimmed down to help spur possible growth after the then decade-long mining boom had indicated clear signs of losing its momentum. The economy somehow slowed in the entire 2012 because export demand for raw materials coming from the country eased.

Debt Consolidation

Reserve Bank Urges Australians to Avoid Panic

Despite the many impending pressures imposed by the Global recession, the Reserve Bank remains optimistic about Australia’s financial future.

Rising unemployment, pricey living costs, increasing household debts; it all seems bad news for Australian household budgets. However the Australian Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens urged consumers to have “quiet confidence” about their financial future.

Interest Rates

First Interest Rate Cut in 7 Years

Australians have welcomed with open arms the Reserve Bank’s first official drop of interest rates in 7 years. The RBA on September 2nd, dropped its cash rate by 0.25 to 7%, its first cut since December 2001.

While this comes as a certain relief to many families struggling under the pressure of mortgages, many are still cautious. As Prime Minister Rudd announced “Interest rates took a long time to rise and they will take a long time to come back down. And the road will be a very uneven one on the way through.” However many remain optimistic, especially those struggling to make ends meet, and spiralling into debt.


How to Minimise Bank Fees

The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed that Australia’s banks pocketed $11.6 billion in 2008 purely from fees charged to consumers and businesses. This amount is an 8% increase from the previous year.

The $4.9 billion rise is reportedly slower than its annual growth rate over the previous five years. Credit cards and home loans have been accredited to the lag.

You may also have been charged for what is known as “exception fees”, by breaching the terms of your banking product. By not paying your credit card on time, or accidentally spending above your limit or even overdrawing on an account will put you in the red.

Tips to Reduce Credit Card and Bank Fees

Here are a few tips to help you reduce your credit cards and bank fees:

1. If you need to make cash withdrawals, ensure you use your own bank’s ATMs as using a foreign bank’s ATM will incur a fee. Also try to make as few withdrawals as possible by taking more money out at one time to prevent going over your allocated limit for free withdrawals.

2. Understand your credit card cycle. By only making the minimum repayment each month you won’t be able to pay off your outstanding balance. The interest will just continue to rise.

3. Forgo your Gold or Platinum privileges for a zero annual-fee card. Decide if it is really important for you to have the rewards program connected to your credit card, not to mention the high interest rates that come with it.

4. Get into a habit of always knowing how much is in your account balance to ensure you don’t overdraw. The four major banks charge $30 – $40 on an unauthorised overdraft. (These days it is easy to manage your account via online banking).

The banks are battling for your dollars in today’s competitive market, so don’t be shy to shop around to ensure you are receiving the best account fees and products that are available.

Interest Rates

Interest Rates on the Rise Again

After raising interest rates three times in quick succession in late 2009, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) increased interest rates again in March – the first rate hike for 2010.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail sales rose a higher-than-expected 1.2% to $20.14 billion in January – up from $19.91 billion in December. After the ABS announced strong growth in retail sales, the Reserve Bank decided to raise the official cash rate to 4.00%, marking the fourth rate rise in five RBA meetings.


Inflation Rise Confirms a Rate Rise

Kevin Rudd admits record low rates are certain to increase after an inflation rise of 2.1%.

The inflation rate has economists tipping a fourth consecutive interest rate rise when the Reserve Bank meets next Tuesday.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal headline inflation rose 0.5% in the three months to December, for an annual rate of 2.1%.

Mr. Rudd said interest rates would obviously rise again.