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Reserve Bank of Australia Surprises with 12th Rate Hike to Tackle Inflation

Reserve Bank of Australia Surprises with 12th Rate Hike to Tackle Inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has taken the financial markets and economists by surprise by announcing its 12th rate hike since May of the previous year. In its latest move, the central bank has decided to increase interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.10 percent, aiming to address the persistent issue of high inflation. 

This unexpected rate hike represents a significant development for the average Australian mortgage holder. Since the cash rate stood at 0.10 percent in April 2022, today’s increase translates into an additional $1,264 in mortgage repayments. Furthermore, Australia’s base interest rate level has reached its highest point since April 2012. 

RBA Governor Philip Lowe emphasized the necessity of this increase to contain inflation. While acknowledging that inflation has peaked, currently standing at 7 percent, Lowe stated that it remains unacceptably high and will take some time to return to the target range. The central bank is determined to provide greater confidence in achieving inflation targets within a reasonable timeframe. 

Lowe recognized that the economy was exhibiting signs of slowing down, but the desired level of inflation still eluded the target range of 2 to 3 percent. The combination of higher interest rates and the pressures of cost-of-living has resulted in a substantial slowdown in household spending. While housing prices are on the rise again, some households have significant savings buffers, while others face financial strains. 

The RBA’s commitment to reducing inflation could entail further rate hikes in the future. Lowe emphasized that additional monetary policy tightening might be required to ensure a timely return to target inflation. The Board will closely monitor global economic developments, trends in household spending, and the outlook for inflation and the labor market. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers acknowledged that this decision would be challenging for many Australians, particularly mortgage holders. He emphasized that it was unfair to blame Australians for inflation, such as seeking pay raises or purchasing property. Chalmers recognized the potential hardship this decision could bring to ordinary working Australians who are already feeling the impact of interest rate rises. 

The unexpected rate hike has left many surprised, with economists divided on the RBA’s intentions. Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, highlighted the financial burden on average Australian borrowers, who will now spend over $15,000 more per year on their mortgages compared to April of the previous year. 

Sally Tindall, research director at, expressed concern over the financial situation faced by many Australian households due to the series of rate hikes. Tindall questioned whether the government should reassess the effectiveness of the current monetary instrument, considering the predicament of borrowers finding themselves in uncharted financial territory. 

With the majority of borrowers set to be charged higher interest rates in the coming weeks, the RBA’s decision raises important considerations about the impact on individuals’ finances and the need for a balanced approach in managing economic challenges. 

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