RBA Cash Rate

Your destination for RBA news, expert forecasts and more

hold

1.50%

Cash rate hold

at 1.50% on Tuesday 4 December 2018

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.com.au 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 hold.

100%of our resident rate experts

correctly predicted the rate to hold at 1.50% on Tuesday 4 December 2018 View forecasts →

Next meeting: 2:30pm 5th February 2019

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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

November

No change

December

No change

RBA rhetoric continues to suggest rates remaining on hold. Although unemployment is continuing to fall, ongoing slow wage growth and low inflation suggests little need to move rates anytime soon.

November

No change

December

No change

Although the RBA remains optimistic on the outlook for economic growth and unemployment, it still sees inflation returning only 'gradually' to the bottom of its 2-3% inflation target. And some of its recent commentary appears to indicate slightly greater near-term concerns with regard to the possible consequences of declining property prices and greater risk aversion on the part of lenders. All of this suggests that an increase in rates is still some way off.

Stephen Koukoulas

+ Read Stephen's full forecast
November

N/A

December

No change

They said so.

November

No change

December

No change

On hold. November was last chance for effective rate cut to stimulate stagnant incomes and consumption ahead of what is likely to be another underwhelming Xmas retail period. Also last month was last chance to stem increasing downward momentum in house prices - likely also to ironically be of growing concern now to RBA given its impact on consumer sentiment and sharply reduced economic activity from the property and finance sectors. So set to be on hold for the foreseeable future with the Bank unlikely to cut ahead of the growing likelihood of a downturn in the global economy.

Leanne Pilkington
November

No change

December

No change

We see the official cash rate remaining at its current level through the first half of 2019. Subdued housing transaction activity and price declines in some markets make an interest rate increase in the near term an unnecessary risk. A strong labour market will be a key factor supporting the economy as we look to the new year.

John Hewson
November

No change

December

No change

Economy now slowing and household debt constraint.

MIchaelYardneyHeadshot100px
November

No change

December

No change

While the economic data suggests an improving economy, wages growth is slow and our property markets are slumping. The many mixed signals means the RBA will maintain the official interest rate on hold at 1.5%.

November

N/A

December

No change

With little change in inflation and wage growth, plus a positive outlook for the labour market, the economic backdrop suggests the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold the official cash rate at 1.5% in December. Looking ahead, Governor Lowe has said that interest rates in Australia will rise, "at some point", highlighting the need for borrowers to take a closer look at their financial situation and talk to an expert to ensure they are getting the best deal on their home loan.

November

No change

December

No change

The RBA remains between a rock and a hard place. Strong infrastructure spending, improving non-mining investment, a lessening drag from falling mining investment and a fall in unemployment to 5% are all good news. But against this the housing cycle has turned down, this will act as a drag on housing construction and consumer spending via a negative wealth effect, wages growth remains weak, inflation is below target and share market volatility is highlighting risks to the global outlook. So yet again the RBA will remain on hold.

AlisonBoothANU
November

No change

December

No change

The fundamental still don’t want any change.

November

N/A

December

No change

No material change since last meeting.

Thieliant
November

No change

December

No change

Thieliant
November

N/A

December

No change

The RBA is comfortable with where the cash rate is and the trajectory of the economy. The unemployment rate has fallen faster than expected and growth is robust. The main concerns are whether wages growth will pick-up and how falling house prices will affect consumer spending and the construction sector.

November

No change

December

No change

There are some really positive economic indicators out there at the moment. In particular, the unemployment rate is very low and this should lead to wages growth. Nevertheless, at this stage, I believe they will hold and review when they meet up again next year.

TimMoore
November

N/A

December

No change

The RBA appears to be comfortable with current monetary policy setting, with the next move more likely to be up than down. The RBA is likely to wait for more evidence that wages growth is rising before increasing interest rates.

November

No change

December

No change

There is no desperate urgency to increase rates and they certainly will not drop.

Holden_Richard 1
November

N/A

December

No change

Still missing inflation target. Wages growth weak.

November

N/A

December

No change

Low inflation and weak wages growth.

November

No change

December

No change

It is a matter of the RBA being comfortable with the current state and outlook for the Australian economy.

Alex Joiner
November

No change

December

No change

The RBA have become marginally more confident in its assessment of the economy recently however these expectations are still some way off in being observed in the economy - this again supports the assertion that interst rate hikes are some way off yet.

November

No change

December

No change

Wages still sluggish and consumer nervous.

Malcolm Wood
November

No change

December

No change

Inflation below target, housing downturn and market volatility.

Jonathan Chancellor

+ Read Jonathan's full forecast
November

No change

December

No change

The bank will now see how the new year unfolds. There is no immediate reason to do anything just yet.

PeterGilmore
November

No change

December

No change

Whilst employment is strengthening, inflation remains moderate. Global market volatility will weigh on the RBA's decision.

Clement Allan Tisdell

Clement Allan Tisdell

+ Read Clement's full forecast
November

No change

December

No change

No good reason to alter. Any rise in interest rates is problematic given the high level of indebtedness of Australian households.

November

No change

December

No change

Despite pressure to raise, the RBA will wait until the new year before yielding. International uncertainty may slow down the pace of rate increases in the US, but the Fed and other central banks are still likely to be raising in the new year, making it easier for the RBA to follow suit.

November

No change

December

No change

The RBA managed to raise substantially their growth outlook, while leaving their inflation outlook largely unchanged. Meanwhile, employment growth powers on and wage growth grinds higher. Unless the housing market crashes, the RBA will be raising rates before the end of 2019; long before the market currently expects.

November

No change

December

No change

There is still insufficient evidence of inflationary pressures to justify a rate hike. Declining home prices in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly given the magnitude of the falls, would ordinarily trigger calls to cut rates. This time around the RBA is not likely to be compelled to change policy settings based on home prices. The recalibration of home prices is due to homeowners being forced to deleverage due to both APRA's interventions in the mortgage market and the credit squeeze initiated by the banks.

Jordan Eliseo
November

No change

December

No change

Despite the heightened concern regarding falling house prices and the knock on effect it will have across the economy, the RBA will hold into the first half of 2019 at the latest. Actual economic data is still relatively strong, though we expect the economy will hit a rougher patch next year, with the RBA eventually trimming rates toward 1%.

November

No change

December

No change

No reason to provide any tightening. With actual rates in the market moving up and a not so positive estimate of the summer retail season, if anything there is more of a case for stimulus.

Nicholas gruen
November

No change

December

No change

They won't cut, though there's a case they should. They'd rather raise, but they've not telegraphed it.

Check out finder's RBA survey press releases

What our experts think the next RBA move will be

As of December 2018 78% of the experts in our panel think the next RBA rate move will be an increase. Only five experts (22%) anticipate a rate cut, and most experts think it will be some time yet before the RBA actually makes any move at all.

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%.

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.

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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