RBA Cash Rate

Your destination for RBA news, expert forecasts and more

hold

1.50%

Cash rate hold

at 1.50% on Tuesday 5 March 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 Reserve Bank 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.

100% of the experts in our survey correctly predicted the cash rate to hold.

100%of our resident rate experts

correctly predicted the rate to hold at 1.50% on Tuesday 5 March 2019 View forecasts →

Next meeting: 2:30pm 2nd April 2019

What our experts think the next RBA move will be

As of March 2019 only 25% of the experts in our panel think the next RBA rate move will be an increase. 75% 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

February

No change

March

No change

The RBA has recently shifted towards a more neutral stance, and acknowledged that downside risks have increased. It however, is maintaining its central view that the unemployment rate will gradually fall. While the debate has shifted away from the next move being a hike, the RBA doesn't appear to be ready to cut rates either.

February

N/A

March

No change

N/A

February

No change

March

No change

Waiting for December quarter's GDP data to be released March 6 - if another weaker than expected result the odds will narrow for a pre-Budget, pre Federal Election cut in April or May. Although recent wages data was reasonable - not good, not bad - RBA has conditioned the market to now expect a long-needed cut to attempt to revive consumption - which is now likely to also be impacted by continuing weaker housing markets

Leanne Pilkington
February

No change

March

No change

There’s somewhat of a stand-off in the housing market at the moment. The level of buyer interest is encouraging but reduced accessibility to finance is having a dampening impact on transactional activity. While this issue runs deeper than merely the cost of finance, a hold pattern remains the prudent course for the RBA in the current climate.

PeterGilmore
February

N/A

March

No change

This is a watching brief, as GDP growth is slower than expected, unemployment is expected to tick up, despite the January jobs report being stronger than expected. this means that quantitative easing may be required. GDP growth is feeling the effect of property prices falling and low wage growth, which is dampening consumer spending more than expected.

John Hewson
February

No change

March

No change

Insufficient evidence yet of slowing economy.

MIchaelYardneyHeadshot100px
February

No change

March

No change

The RBA has acknowledged that our economy is weaker and the likelihood that the next movement in rates is down. However it is hoping for employment growth to buoy our economy and it likely to wait a month or two and see how our property markets are faring before acting.

February

No change

March

No change

I predict the RBA to hold the rate in March and beyond until it has a better handle on what’s really happening locally with consumers and because there are no major external drivers, such as the Fed, to shift. In February, the Fed left the key interest rate unchanged and said it would be patient in the face of a mounting set of risks, including slowing growth in China and Europe, Brexit, ongoing trade negotiations and the effects of the five-week U.S. government shutdown. Back in Australia, the RBA’s prediction of 3% economic growth this year (and 2.75% growth next year), may be too optimistic, say some economists. Softer growth numbers mean higher unemployment, which would suggest a rate cut down the track. The RBA will be keeping a keen eye on the housing market, especially the key markets of Sydney and Melbourne. With the housing adjustment threatening to spill over into the wider economy, the (negative) wealth effect may increase consumer desire to save and curb consumer spending, which in turn impacts retail and the wider economy. As we have seen this month, there are a lot of moving parts with the Australian dollar, which is sensitive to global economic uncertainties. Looking ahead, we will ideally see credit flow to borrowers to support the housing market, an increase in residential construction, and property investors encouraged to get back into the market.

February

No change

March

No change

Things aren’t yet weak enough to push the RBA to cut but they aren’t strong enough to push it to hike either.

AlisonBoothANU
February

No change

March

No change

The fundamentals do not warrant any rate changes.

Nicholas gruen
February

N/A

March

No change

Because the bank will see no need to move.

February

No change

March

No change

The Reserve Bank recently moved their interest rate outlook to neutral territory, so it is likely they will hold rates for the near future. With growth and inflation forecasts downgraded the focus will be on the housing market and unemployment for signs of stress.

Peter Haller
February

No change

March

No change

The RBA has clearly stated it is on hold for the time being.

February

N/A

March

No change

RBA still watching the economy, the consumer and wages.

February

No change

March

No change

The overall direction of interest rates appears to be at a crossroads. For now, I expect rates to stay on hold but recent mixed economic data (in particular the slowing of the housing market) not to mention what's happening internationally (political unrest, trade wars, strains on international relationships) is adding a fair degree of volatility to the economic and financial landscape, which may well last during the course of 2019. For this reason, the RBA may take a conservative approach to rate setting, erring on the side of caution. This caution may manifest itself in a rate drop, meaning in part the economy is not as solid as we would like. The next couple of months, leading up to the general election, will be telling.

Mathew Tiller LJ Hooker
February

No change

March

No change

Despite a deterioration in the outlook for the Australian and global economies, recent employment data shows that there are some economic bright spots. This means it remains too early for the RBA to shift rates just yet.

Jonathan Chancellor

+ Read Jonathan's full forecast
February

N/A

March

No change

Holding is the bank's inclination.

Thieliant
February

No change

March

No change

The RBA has stated the outlook for the cash rate is more balanced, rather than the hiking bias seen throughout 2018. But the RBA is still keen to avoid cutting rates, so will keep the cash rate on hold.

February

No change

March

No change

Although the case is building for the next move to be a cut, I think that on balance, the data coming out is still too mixed. Unemployment is still very low even though we are still not seeing this flow through to consumer sentiment.

Tim
February

No change

March

No change

On the balance of the economic data in Australia, the RBA have clearly communicated that the risks are balanced therefore the trajectory of the cash rate from here will depend on how both downside and upside risks play out with the key hurdle to a rate cut being employment and inflation, but expect neither cash rate move in the near term.

AndrewRP

Andrew Reeve-Parker

+ Read Andrew's full forecast
February

N/A

March

No change

Sufficient economic activity balancing housing market concerns.

February

No change

March

No change

There is no way they will raise them - to drop would be premature.

Jordan Eliseo
February

N/A

March

No change

Chances of a cut have grown, but the domestic outlook remains reasonably good employment wise, and so far consumer spending remains okay despite sinking property prices on the east coast.

Alex Joiner
February

N/A

March

No change

The RBA have emphasised that it does not think it will need to move on rates, in either direction, in the short term. I’d agree with this sentiment, while some indicators have softened importantly the labour market has held up well and while this continues to be the case the RBA has time to assess the remainder of the economy and wait for the better wages and inflation metrics it desires to emerge.

February

No change

March

No change

Insufficient data to conclude that the poor results from end 2018 will be long lived

Holden_Richard 1
February

No change

March

No change

Waiting for new inflation numbers.

Clement Allan Tisdell

Clement Allan Tisdell

+ Read Clement's full forecast
February

No change

March

No change

Comments of the Governor of the RBA.

February

No change

March

No change

There recent comments suggest the outlook for rates is finely balanced.

Malcolm Wood
February

No change

March

No change

Labour market still robust; inflation below target.

February

No change

March

No change

RBA held off raising rates with house prices rising for 3 years. It would be staggering if they cut after 12 months of falls, given a generally stable economy.

February

No change

March

No change

Bias is moving toward rate reduction, and while there is a case for this in my view, the RBA is likely to want to hold position for now.

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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