THE NEWS WRAP: Economists tip RBA to keep rates on hold for third month straight

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected today to keep interest rates on hold at 3.5%, for the third month in a row.


An AAP survey of 13 economists found that none thought that the RBA would adjust the cash rate this month, although 11 felt that a rate cut was on the cards before the end of 2012.


The last interest rate cut was in June, when the RBA lowered the case rate by a quarter of a percentage point.


Retail slips back into negative territory


Retailers slid back into the mire in July as consumers’ carbon tax handouts lost their potency, with spending slipping by 0.8%, according to new figures.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that retail sales rose by 0.6% and 1.2% in May and June respectively, fuelled by household assistance linked to carbon pricing.


However, the recovery came to a halt last month, with department store spending particularly badly hit – down 10.2%.


Job ads fall for fifth month in a row


The number of job advertisements posted in Australia fell for the fifth consecutive month in August, dropping by 2.3%.


According to ANZ, newspaper ads fell by 6.1% and online ads were down 2.1%. The overall job ad market is down 9.6% on the same period last year.




The Australian dollar fell to US 102.49 cents.


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