RBA leaves cash rate on hold at 3.5% - noting housing market remains subdued.



The Reserve Bank has, as expected, left the official cash rate unchanged today at 3.5% following its monthly monetary policy meeting. The decision to hold follows 75 basis points being shaved off the cash rate in May and June. RBA board members will have noted the 1% rise in capital city house and unit prices in June as recorded by RP Data-Rismark, and partly attributed to the previous rate cuts. In its previous monetary policy statement the RBA remarked on the softening in the housing market. Retail sales figures for May will be released tomorrow, with economists expecting 0.2% month-on-month growth. A poll of 28 economists by Bloomberg ahead of the decision all expected the RBA to hold today. Westpac is still forecasting the cash rate to reach 2.75% by year-end. HSBC Australia economist Paul Bloxham expects one more 25 basis point rate cut in the second half of the year. By Larry Schlesinger Tuesday, 03 July 2012

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