Reserve Bank of Australia
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has lowered its growth forecast amid a slowdown in the country's non-mining sectors.
The central bank cut its growth forecast for 2012 to 3 percent from its earlier projection of 3.5 percent.
The move comes just days after the RBA cut rates to 3.75 percent in a surprise move to boost growth.
Australian retail sales grew at a snail's pace in February as consumers spent less on clothing, household goods and eating out, a long-running trend that will only add to industry calls for another cut in interest rates.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holds its April policy meeting on Tuesday and while economists doubt it will cut the 4.25 percent cash rate this time, many do expect an easing to 4.0 percent come May.
Australian consumer inflation expectations remained relatively modest in June, taking some of the heat out of a widening national debate on the outlook for interest rates.
The Melbourne Institute survey of inflationary expectations for June showed consumers expect inflation to rise to 3.3 percent over the next year, just above the Reserve Bank of Australia's inflation target band, which is between 2 percent and 3 percent, and in line with the annual pace of inflation in the first quarter.
Australia's central bank left interest rates on hold on Tuesday, as economists predicted, but it also signaled that a policy tightening isn't too far off as inflation looks set to rise further.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left its cash rate at 4.75 percent, where it has remained since November 2010.
RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement a mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy "remains appropriate" for now, but he also warned that inflation will rise, even in the face of an Australian dollar at 29-year highs.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said rising household savings are likely to take pressure off inflation if cautious spending habits among the country's consumers continue. This suggests the central bank is in no rush to raise official interest rates.
The RBA remained upbeat overall, giving little attention to recent signs of a slowdown in parts of the economy, instead staying focused on the medium-term task of managing a resources boom that is expected to drive economic growth faster in 2011.
Australian consumer sentiment has shown resilience in the face of November's cash rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), a survey shows.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 0.2 percent in December to 111.0, up from 110.7 in November.
The rise in consumer sentiment followed a lift in the cash rate from 4.5 percent to 4.75 percent by the RBA on 2 November and mortgage rate increases by the banks that were bigger than 25 basis points.
Mounting evidence that economic conditions in Australia are quickly returning to normal drove a decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to raise interest rates a further notch at the start of March. "On balance, members concluded that the evidence that had become available recently had confirmed that it remained appropriate for interest rates to move gradually towards normal levels," according to the minutes of the central bank's 2 March board meeting, released on Tuesday.