RBA April decision: Cash rate remains at 3.0%
The Reserve Bank of Australia has kept the cash rate on hold for the fourth consecutive month at 3.0%.
The decision to keep rates where they are comes as no surprise. In his statement Glenn Stevens said that the easing of monetary policy during late 2011 and 2012 is having an expansionary effect on the economy. However the exchange rate remains higher than might have been expected, given the observed decline in export prices. The Board would continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed but felt it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged.
Is this the bottom of the rates cycle?
Glenn and Co at the RBA did today again state that the inflation outlook would afford scope to ease policy further should that be necessary to support demand. Some economists still believe there is room for a further 25 basis point rate cut later in the year but we are already seeing some indicators that suggest that lenders are starting to move their home loan rates higher.
Westpac is one lender that has increased its fixed rate home loans in recent weeks. Fixed rate loans are still at historically low levels and in the Mozo database we currently have 18 providers that have 1 year fixed rates at or below 5%. See here for fixed rate home loans.
On the variable rate side, if you are refinancing and have over 80% LVR UBank offers the best variable rate at 5.12%. Loans.com.au has lifted its rate from 5.08% to 5.22% on the Blackboard Special home loan but even at 5.22%, this is still the best rate for new loans and a LVR over 80%. Check out our variable rate home loans page for more variable rate deals.
What to do with your savings?
Good news is that unlike the savers of Cyprus, we have a government guarantee on deposits of up to $250,000. If you have some cash that you want to put away right now you'll get the best return on your money from RAMs with its Saver account at 5.01% but there are minimum monthly deposit requirements of $200 or more. ING also have a 5.00% rate for its Savings Maximiser account for the first 4 months.
If you want to lock away your money for a set term, the best 1 year term deposit rate is 4.55% with ME bank and the best 5 year rate is 5.00% with RaboDirect.See here for savings account or compare term deposits.
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