RBA's September decision: rates on hold at 3.50%


Tuesday 04 September 2012

Spring has sprung, bringing with it a welcome change in the weather, a not so welcome change in pollen levels (sniffle sniffle), and, for the third month in a row, no change in Reserve Bank interest rates.

Yes, Governor Glenn Stevens has today yet again announced that the official cash rate will be held at 3.50%, in reaction to an entirely mixed bag of national and international fiscal signs.

In a statement, Stevens declared that the current monetary policy "remained appropriate", due to a "subdued international outlook" and local growth "close to trend".

No change again, RBA? This is really starting to get dull.

Not so! Ostensibly dull it may be, but there’s more to this month's decision than meets the eye.

Locally, August saw better than expected national employment rates, coupled with lacklustre retail figures and markedly fewer numbers of building approvals.

Internationally, the EuroZone has been relatively stable, while further afield, economists have revised growth figures for China, predicting the next quarter will produce negative results for the market superpower.

Such contrary and confusing monetary signs have informed this month's Reserve Bank rate decision. The RBA is playing it cool, still closely monitoring the effects of its cumulative 0.75% cut over the May/June period, and waiting to see what the next few months bring internationally.

And never fear the decision doldrums aren't expected to last for too much longer: economists are expecting another rate cut in November, so stay tuned.

Get specific. What does this all mean for borrowers?

The RBA certainly ain’t shaking things up this month, but that doesn’t mean you can't! Now is as good a time as any to shop around, find a better deal and refinance.

Unfortunately, it's pretty unlikely this month that any of the banks will cut their rates on variable home loans. There continues to be, however, a nice downward trend in fixed rate home loans; market-leaders My Mortgage Freedom are currently offering rates as low as 5.44% for one, two or even three year loans. Snap one up while you can!

Alternatively, check out our new Mystery Bank service you can score yourself up to a 1% discount on a big 4 bank home loan.

As per usual, the eagle-eyed team of Mozo Rate Chasers will be keeping a close eye on things, ensuring no sneaky rate changes go unnoticed.

And for savers?

Although rates in this area are static, and have been for a few months now, there are still a few banks out there who are competing fiercely for your money. Take the time to scout around and check out some of the great deals on offer.

UBank's 1 year term deposit is looking mighty fine at 5.35%, while the RAMS Saver account leads the way on at call rates, sitting pretty on 5.75%.

If you're keen to see exactly how much your money could work for you and get inspired to save, check out our savings calculator.

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