RBA Cash Rate

Your destination for RBA news, expert forecasts and more

hold

1.50%

Cash rate hold

at 1.50% on Tuesday 2 April 2019

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sets the official cash rate target on the first Tuesday of every month except January. Below are expert forecasts from the Finder's RBA Cash Rate Survey™ of some of Australia's brightest minds in economics and property. You can also learn more about the RBA and how its decisions influence the interest rates banks charge, and learn about the best strategies for home owners and investors when there's a rate cut, hold or rise decision.

98% of the experts in our survey correctly predicted the cash rate to hold.

98%of our resident rate experts

correctly predicted that the next cash rate move would be to hold at 1.50% on Tuesday 2 April 2019 View forecasts →

Next meeting: 2:30pm 7th May 2019

What our experts think the next RBA move will be

As of April 2019 only 24% of the experts in our panel think the next RBA rate move will be an increase. 76% now anticipate a rate cut.

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Our resident rate experts

+ Open all commentary

Find out what each of our experts predicts for next month and their detailed forecast explanations

March

No change

April

No change

The growth outlook is looking increasingly weaker than what the RBA had forecast. However, the labour market is a key focus for the RBA. While it continues to show strength, the RBA would seem reluctant to lower rates.

March

No change

April

No change

Although momentum and expectations for a near-term rate cut has intensified, latest labour market data would have bolstered the RBA clear resolve to leave rates on hold at least for April given the Banks continued reference to employment data as the key measure for rate consideration.

Leanne Pilkington
March

No change

April

No change

There's still no trigger significant enough to warrant an adjustment to the cash rate at this time. Labor's proposed changes to negative gearing and CGT have the potential to impact the market considerably so we see the RBA leaving rates steady at least until the Federal election result is decided.

Stephen Koukoulas

+ Read Stephen's full forecast
March

N/A

April

Cut

The economy has slowed, with the per capita GDP recession in the second half of last year probably continuing into 2019. Inflation is low and with the household sector under pressure from falling house prices, some policy stimulus is needed.

PeterGilmore
March

No change

April

No change

They have indicated a neutral bias, and we need to see further deterioration or slowing of growth to see them shift to an easing bias.

John Hewson
March

No change

April

No change

Still waiting more data on weakening economy against latest U/E number.

MIchaelYardneyHeadshot100px
March

No change

April

No change

While a drop interest rates would help increase consumer confidence at a time when falling house prices is affecting confidence and spending, the Reserve Bank will be pleased that Australia's unemployment rate has hit an eight-year low, giving it more breathing room and the ability to hold off on cutting interest rates.

February

No change

March

No change

Borrowers hoping for a rate cut on April 2nd will be disappointed, with the Reserve Bank of Australia unlikely to shift the official cash rate that's been anchored at 1.5% since 2016. Despite unemployment remaining low, wages remain low and there has been subdued growth in the Australian economy. In addition, we are now experiencing a "per-capita" recession for the first time in 13 years which may prolong soft household spending. These economic factors, plus a decline in dwelling investment driven by the tightened lending environment will also be weighing on RBA decision making.

March

No change

April

No change

While the threat to growth and inflation from the housing downturn (via reduced construction activity and negative wealth effects) is such that the RBA should (and might) cut interest rates on Tuesday in order to get in before unemployment starts rising the most likely scenario is that they will continue to hold. The RBA probably needs to see more evidence that the slowdown seen in the second half last year is not just temporary, that consumer spending is under serious threat and that this will drive higher unemployment and lower for longer inflation. It will probably also want to see what sort of fiscal stimulus comes out of the budget and the Federal election outcome. So rate cuts are probably still several months off.

AlisonBoothANU
March

No change

April

No change

Economic fundamentals don't justify a change.

KatrinaEll
March

N/A

April

No change

There's no need to tap the easing just yet.

DavidB
March

N/A

April

No change

Unemployment is still low.

Sean L
March

N/A

April

No change

Monetary policy remains very accommodative. Domestically, there has been very little new data in the last month, and none would cause the Bank to change its course.

Nicholas gruen
March

N/A

April

No change

Because the economy has stalled, they really should cut, but they are flying by the seat of their pants so can't really decide what to do.

March

No change

April

No change

The Reserve Bank is likely to hold rates for the near future. Despite slowing growth, a recent fall in unemployment numbers provides the RBA more time to assess the data before deciding if a rate cut is necessary.

Peter Haller
March

No change

April

No change

Employment growth is sufficient to offset fears the RBA may have related to falling property prices.

March

N/A

April

No change

Still looking to sort oyut the different signal from the labour market and activity (e.g. GDP and NAB Survey).

Mathew Tiller LJ Hooker
March

No change

April

No change

Despite a slight softening, the economy is in relatively good shape, as evidenced by falling unemployment rates, this will see the RBA hold the cash rate steady this month.

Thieliant
March

No change

April

No change

The RBA has shifted to a more dovish stance but are not willing to cut until they see a weaker labour market.

March

No change

April

No change

While the likelihood of a cut is increasing, this month is still too early. If economic data continues to deteriorate, then we will likely see movement in the second half of the year.

DavidR
March

N/A

April

No change

Not enough evidence yet of the need to add monetary policy stimulus, however pressure for RBA rate cuts may increase in the H2 as the global economy slows.

AndrewRP

Andrew Reeve-Parker

+ Read Andrew's full forecast
March

No change

April

No change

Economic data doesn't require immediate adjustment of rates.

March

No change

April

No change

Because lowering rates would not solve anything.

Alex Joiner
March

N/A

April

No change

The RBA is cognizant of the recent weakening in the hard and higher frequency data flow, however there has not been enough weakness to serve as a catalyst for it to ease monetary policy in the short term. Importantly, labour market performance is so far holding up very well as while this is the case the RBA can see a path to better wages growth and higher rates of inflation.

March

No change

April

No change

Unemployment - which the RBA has made clear is crucial to their decision-making - remains low.

Jonathan Chancellor

+ Read Jonathan's full forecast
March

No change

April

No change

The RBA won't be rushed into their next move.

March

No change

April

No change

Ahead of the Budget there is no need for the RBA to take action. In addition the labour market remains strong.

March

No change

April

No change

No material change in conditions since last meeting.

Malcolm Wood
March

No change

April

No change

Growth indicators moderating and inflation below target band.

Thieliant

Ben Udy

March

N/A

April

No change

March

No change

April

No change

Indications from the RBA are to hold for longer, labour market surprised on the strong side.

March

N/A

April

No change

The RBA will remain on the sidelines once again at their April meeting, but market pressure is building for a cut. If the RBA can withstand market pressure for a further 6 months, many of the current headwinds generating recession fears - trade wars, Euro growth, Brexit, Australian housing market downturn - are likely to have receded and the RBA can avoid cutting rates. This is important as the RBA risks being trapped, along with the Fed, ECB, BOJ, in a low cash rate setting that limits the effectiveness of monetary policy.

March

No change

April

No change

Bias remains to decrease, however it is likely the RBA will hold this month.

Check out finder's RBA survey press releases

History of the Reserve Bank of Australia official Cash Rate

The graph above shows the movement in the official cash rate target. A lower cash rate reduces the cost of borrowing money so more people are encouraged to borrow - stimulating the economy. Higher interest rates tend to encourage spending. This is how a rise or fall in rates affects the level of supply and demand and therefore the level of inflation - which the RBA wants to keep in the target range of 2%-3%.

What is the official cash rate and who sets it?

Once a month, the RBA board meets to decide whether to raise the cash rate, lower it or keep it the same. Their decision will be influenced by a wide range of factors including inflation, the performance of the Aussie Dollar, the housing market, Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and levels of consumer confidence. The board will assess all of these factors in relation to the RBA's goals and objectives before reaching a consensus on what to do with the official cash rate.

The RBA's monetary policy aims to achieve three key objectives which are set out in the Reserve Bank Act 1959:

  • The stability of the currency of Australia;
  • The maintenance of full employment in Australia; and
  • The economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

In order to reach those objectives, the RBA sets an inflation target of 2-3% over the medium term. In other words, the RBA wants the Consumer Price Index (CPI, based on the average prices for a range of common goods and services) to increase by between 2 and 3 per cent each year.

The bank can control inflation by making adjustments to the official cash rate. For example, if inflation rises above the target rate it means that Australians are spending their money too freely and prices are increasing too rapidly. But if the RBA raises interest rates to make it more expensive to borrow money, the economy will settle and price increases will slow down. Conversely, the RBA will drop interest rates if inflation is too low and the economy is stagnating, encouraging more Australians to spend more money and stimulate economic growth.

How the cash rate can impact your finances

See how the cash rate changes can affect your savings, term deposits, home loans and what you can do about it.

If the rate rises

Find an account which offers the same features and fees but with a better rate.

If the rate gets cut

Consider comparing a competitive term deposit rate so your interest earnings don't suffer.

If the rate holds

Carry out a quick comparison to make sure you're getting the best return on your money, see what promotions banks are offering.

Banks and other lenders all over the country use the RBA's official cash rate as the benchmark for the rates they offer on their variable rate home loans and other financial products. You may have seen or heard news stories following a rate change announcement by the RBA as economists predict when the banks will pass the RBA's change on to their customers.
If the rate rises

Ask your lender for a rate discount so that if rates do rise you won't be worse off, or alternatively, compare other variable or even fixed rate home loans to find a better deal.

If the rate gets cut

See how your lender responds to the cut. If they don't pass on the full rate cut, ask for a rate discount, and if you're still not happy start comparing what other deals are in the market. Some lenders have been known to pass on more than the official rate cut after an RBA announcement!

If the rate holds

Compare other variable rate home loans to make sure you're still getting the best deal. If rates are tipped to rise in the near future you may also want to compare fixed rates.

If the rate rises

Your rate won't rise as you locked it in, so you can relax a little. If your fixed rate is soon to end, start comparing what deals are being offered so you don't find yourself scrambling to lock in another rate.

If the rate gets cut

If you feel your home loan is no longer competitive, you might want to obtain a quote from your lender to find out possible exit costs. If this figure is reasonable, you might want to consider comparing variable home loans. Use our switching costs calculator to see if you'd save.

If the rate holds

Because your rate is fixed for an agreed period of time, a decision by the RBA to hold won't have as much of an effect on you depending on how long you still have to go in your fixed term. As mentioned above, you might still want to monitor the other deals in the market to keep informed.

If the rate rises

If rates rise, savings accounts rates could be increased as well. If this happens, you might want to compare the rates of high interest savings accounts. Remember that most term deposits have interest penalties if you withdraw your funds early, so keep this in mind.

If the rate gets cut

Your rate won't change because it's locked in, but if you're nearing the end of your term start comparing both high interest savings accounts and term deposits to find a good deal.

If the rate holds

Compare accounts and ensure you're aware of what's being offered in the market.

RBA news and announcements

Ask an Expert

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46 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    octoJune 18, 2018

    how long can AUD interest rate remain Low…..?

    how soon will the AUD follow the US FED Rate Hike…….?

    thank you

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiJune 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Octo!

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      To know more information on your questions, you can fill in your email address in the box provided and you’ll be updated on RBA’s decisions on the official cash rate target.

      While we provide you with general information, please know that we don’t stand as a representation for RBA or any company featured on our site.

      Hope that clarifies!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    TaneeshaMay 24, 2018

    Do you think the cash rate will stay the same at the June RBA meeting?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaMay 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Taneesha,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well for you. :)

      Unfortunately, we are not in the best place to make a prediction. However, you might get an idea whether the RBA cash rate will rise or fall by looking at the factors that affect it. These factors may include:

      – Household debt
      – Inflation
      – Wage growth
      – Consumer Confidence Index
      – Unemployment

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    BrookMay 5, 2018

    What do you think that how the international economic condition influence the cash rate?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniMay 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Brook,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      This is nice question. Domestic financial conditions remain expansionary. There has been some tightening in short-term
      money markets, which has flowed through to a small increase in funding costs for a range of financial institutions and businesses. However, borrowing rates remain low for households and businesses. Growth in housing credit has eased since mid last year, particularly for credit extended to investors, while growth in business debt has remained moderate. The Australian dollar remains within its narrow range of the past two years. Financial market prices suggest that the cash rate is expected to remain unchanged this year and to increase around mid 2019. If you are eager to learn more about the domestic financial condition according to RBA, please check out this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    RobJune 11, 2017

    What do you think will be the next move for RBA on cash rate and when?

    Thank you!

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 11, 2017

      Hi Rob!

      Thanks for the comment.

      As of the moment, most of resident rate experts predict that rates will be the same. The cash rate target is released on the first Tuesday of every month except January.

      You can follow the updated forecast right here.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      RobJune 11, 2017

      Thanks Jonathan, I meant in the longer term, 6-12 months.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 11, 2017

      Hi Rob!

      We appreciate your follow-up.

      Currently, there are multiple factors that need to be considered and due to the volatility of these factors, it is a bit hard to conclude whether they’ll leave the rates unchanged for the next few months or not.

      If you have further inquiries, you may contact:

      Media and Communications
      Secretary’s Department
      Reserve Bank of Australia
      SYDNEY
      Phone: +61 2 9551 9720
      Fax: +61 2 9551 8033
      Email: rbainfo@rba.gov.au

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    JulieSeptember 1, 2016

    When do you think the RBA will start raising rates?

    • Default Gravatar
      JodieSeptember 7, 2016

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service.

      It is hard to predict the movement of the cash rate as it is based on a multitude of factors that are continually changing however 7 out of the 38 experts we surveyed in our latest RBA survey for September 2016 said they predict it will start going up in July 2017 or beyond.

      Regards
      Jodie

  6. Default Gravatar
    EricFebruary 25, 2016

    Hi Belinda

    Appreciate if you would also send me informations regarding findings of monthly RBA survey.

    Regards
    Eric

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaFebruary 26, 2016Staff

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      On this page, you can view the RBA Cash Rate Target Announcements for each month from February 2015 until February 2016. You can also view the commentary of our resident rate experts in the lead up to each Board meeting which occurs on the first Tuesday of every month (except January).

      Please feel free to sign up to receive our detailed RBA cash rate updates by completing the form provided above.

      Regards,
      Belinda

  7. Default Gravatar
    SyedDecember 8, 2015

    Hi,
    My new house is ready now and wondering what is the best time to sell, should I put my house in the market now or January or wait for the February. I am not committed any where so I can wait.

    Your advise needed.

    Thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaDecember 9, 2015Staff

      Hi Syed,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      As finder.com.au is an online comparison service so we are not licensed to give you personal advice regarding the best time to sell your property.

      You can read our guide here about considerations when selling your house.

      All the best,
      Belinda

  8. Default Gravatar
    loooooolAugust 16, 2015

    hello.
    i wonder if i could receive some information regarding not only the latest current economic situation, but also cash rate movements over the year.

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaAugust 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Dongho,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      Above on this page you can view the ‘Reserve Bank monthly announcements’ to read about the cash rate movements and monetary policy decisions that have occurred over the course of this year. You can also sign up to receive our RBA cash rate updates by filling in the form provided above.

      In regards to the current economic situation, finder.com.au is an online comparative website and we can’t comment on the activity of the broader Australian economy.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

  9. Default Gravatar
    OliJuly 17, 2015

    Can you please send through the information on the RBA via email?
    I’m doing a school Economic assignment on the RBA and financial markets

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaJuly 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Oli,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      I’ve emailed you with some information regarding the findings from our monthly RBA survey.

      Please note that on this page you can sign up to receive our RBA cash rate updates.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

  10. Default Gravatar
    yazminJuly 7, 2015

    Hi,

    I was just wondering if I could have information regarding how interests rates will unfold over the next year. In particular, if the current interest rates will be appropriate for the economic conditions in Australia.

    Thank you
    Yazmin

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaJuly 8, 2015Staff

      Hi Yazmin,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      Firstly, I’d like to point out that finder.com.au is an online comparison and general information service so we’re not in a position to forecast interest rates.

      However, on this page you can sign up to receive our RBA cash rate updates which you might find useful.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

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