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RBA cash rate survey

Expert analysis on the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate decisions

Last updated:

hold

0.25%

CASH RATE CUT

RBA decision made 19 March 2020
  • 53% of our experts correctly predicted a second cash rate cut in March 2020 following an emergency meeting of the Reserve Bank. Learn more here.

In the previous survey, 15% of our rate experts correctly predicted a cut to the rate on Tuesday 3 March 2020, while 85% of our resident rate experts predicted a hold.

Which lenders are passing on the RBA's cut? See the full list

Next rate meeting: The board of the Reserve Bank will meet again on 07 April 2020 to decide the future of the cash rate.

Finder surveys over 40 economists and property experts every month to evaluate the future of the RBA's cash rate decision. Experts also provide commentary on the current state of the property market and the Australian economy and their predictions for the cash rate's future. This page contains recent cash rate analysis and predictions for the next rate decision. We update the page with new forecasts at the end of the month and again on the first Tuesday of the month, when the board of the Reserve Bank meets to make its decision.

Skip ahead to read the latest analysis, see how the cash rate has changed over time and learn more about how the cash rate affects you.

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The latest cash rate analysis from the experts

Please note that the following comments and predictions relate to the first March cut on Tuesday 3rd. There was a second, surprise cut on the 19th.

February
HOLD
March
CUT
In the absence of wage pressures, inflation remains well below target. More stimulus is required to return growth to trend.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
Although the prospects for the Australian economy are not looking good, I think the RBA will hold. In my opinion, the governments should be doing more in terms of fiscal policy and I suspect the RBA shares this view.
 
February
CUT
March
HOLD
It will want to guard against asset price rises
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The biggest risk to economic growth right now is the coronavirus. If Chinese economic growth plummets for more than one quarter, this will hit the Australian economy. Already our tourism and education sectors are being hit due to their reliance on Chinese consumers. We don't have much room for movement with interest rates and if things start to get bad, we likely only have one or two cuts left. It is likely that May's Federal budget will be far more interesting than last year and the Government may need to give up their surplus.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The Reserve Bank will be disappointed with the latest unemployment figures but is likely to hold off cutting rates in fear of adding fuel to the already strong property markets
 
February
HOLD
March
CUT
Jobless falling, wages growth still low and growing concerns over economic impact of coronavirus
 
February
CUT
March
HOLD
Not much ammunition left and the RBA considers fiscal policy should provide stimulus.
 
February
HOLD
March
CUT
The next move is likely to be a cut in EITHER March or April. I don’t have a strong view which one it is and its not a big deal which one it is either. The coronavirus outbreak coming on the back of the bushfires is likely to see the economy go backwards this quarter which in turn is likely to push unemployment up further after the rise to 5.3% seen in January. Growth should rebound in the March quarter but given the uncertainty around Covid-19 and its impact globally there is much uncertainty around that and given we are so far from full employment and the inflation target the RBA is likely to take cut the cash rate again in the months ahead.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
From an ease in the bushfire crisis to a rise in the coronavirus threat, there are economic challenges in addition to the health and safety challenges to be faced, and the impacts of these are not yet fully known. Maintaining the hold pattern at this time of significant uncertainty seems appropriate.
 
February
CUT
March
CUT
The RBA is reluctant to cut rates further as it is worried that house price rises will accelerate. But the soft labour force figures combined with the escalating shock from the Coronavirus means the RBA will be forced to lower the cash rate.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
We are not due for a Federal Election for another 12 months, therefor the rise will occur at least 6 months prior.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The recent unprecedented bushfire and the coronavirus outbreak means detrimental effects on the Australian economy. Trade, tourism and education sectors are the hardest hit. In addition, the global economic uncertainty and the gloomy world economic outlook, will drive down domestic household and business confidence and investments. Given these scenarios, there is a high possibility that the RBA will bring down the cash rate as low as 0.5% around July.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
A further reduction to the cash rate is a question of when, not if. That being said, recent data suggests there may not be enough reason to warrant a cut in March as the benefits would not be sufficient enough to offset the risk of doing so. The latest Labour Force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that the unemployment rate rose in January, following better than expected results the month prior. Further, the December quarter Wage Price Index revealed that subdued wage growth persists. On the other hand, housing market data suggests the housing market continues to benefit from the historic low interest rate environment. The latest data from the ABS showed a rise in the value of home loan approvals in the month of December. Further, the low-interest rate environment continues to stimulate housing values, with CoreLogic figures revealing national dwelling values rose 0.9% in January. RBA Board members would be wary that another cut to the cash rate may put further upward pressure on the already high cost of housing.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The impact of ongoing national and global events is still being determined, while the economy continues to be largely stagnant, thus suggesting more support is required.
 
February
HOLD
March
CUT
The duel impact of the coronavirus and the summer bush fires have undermined the economic recovery of late 2019, and in the absent of fiscal stimulus the RBA will need to move to cut rates further. On balance I think there is enough information for them to move in March, but they may wait until April.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
RBA is likely to wait to see the effects on the economy of the recent natural disasters (fire, flood, epidemic)
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
I believe the RBA will hold off as long as possible to reduce further but will be forced to do so as I do not believe employment and wage growth will be strong enough to drive up retail spending.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
More time will be required for the RBA to assess whether current settings are on track for full employment.
 
February
HOLD
March
CUT
Coronavirus will begin to weigh on our economy
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The weakness of the dollar combined with the metropolitan property market rebound suggest a hold decision at the March meeting. However, if COVID19 is not contained, its impact on global supply chains significantly worsens (with domestic unemployment rising), a rate cut becomes highly likely in May, or even before, in April.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
Another RBA rate cut remains likely in H1, although the timing is subject to a range of factors that remain fluid. The latest jobs data was weaker than hoped, and COVID-19 global concerns are rising, so another cut is expected.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
Support economy in the face of the coronavirus
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
RBA Minutes
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
I think rates have bottomed - there is so much uncertainty right now
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The central bank will want to sit and watch the economy for another month or two before cutting.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
Sluggish growth and below target inflation
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The very slight rise in unemployment doesn't reflect the impact of bushfires or COVID19. The slight weakening probably isn't enough to justify a cut considering 'the long and variable lags' referred to by the Governor, and would leave scope for more cuts later if both of the above factors create persistent drag.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
RBA does not want to see property market over-inflated but waiting to see if past cuts will flow through and if lower AUD will stimulate exports
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
Stagnant activity, investment, employment growth and unemployment rate.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
After releasing fairly upbeat meeting minutes last month, the RBA is now assessing the global economic impact of the coronavirus and domestic implications of droughts and bushfires before it reduces the official cash rate further. Real estate markets across the country continue to benefit from low interest rates with strong buyer demand resulting in auction clearance rates above 75% and a steady lift in dwelling values.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
I expect the RBA to hold rates for the time being. The economy would have to be facing serious problems if rates were to be reduced further and I don't think we're there yet - and hopefully won't be.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
We were already expecting the Australian economy to remain weak in 2020. The disruptions due to the coronavirus only add downside risk to that forecast. We think the unemployment rate will continue to rise prompting the RBA to cut twice.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The RBA will remain on hold in February, despite the potential impact of the Bush Fires. Better prospects for the global economy, the potential for a stabilisation in Australian consumer spending and a robust labour market provide the RBA with breathing space on monetary policy. With only two rate cuts separating the cash rate from the effective lower bound, the RBA is a reluctant rate cutter at this junction.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The recent labour market data has been more positive than we anticipated, so we've pushed back our call for one final rate cut to Q2 2020. But the forward indicators for jobs growth have continued to weaken (and the impact of the bushfires is a further downside risk), which means we still expect the RBA to cut one more time in this loosening cycle.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The cash rate will likely fall in May as the RBA looks to get the unemployment rate lower. The uncertainty around the impacts of the coronavirus and weak consumer spending will also be factors.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
RBA will likely cut this meeting or next as COVID fears escalate. Subsequent moves will depend on how quickly this is brought under control.
 
February
CUT
March
HOLD
Unsure of outlook and aware that int rate cuts do little to stimulate economy except asset prices esp housing
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
May hold till the effects of the corona virus are clearer and fiscal policy is more apparent.
 
February
HOLD
March
CUT
A reduction due to the adverse impact of restrictions on trade and tourism.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
The RBA’s challenge with respect to easing policy further is having to judge whether any near term uptick in the unemployment rate is due to the impact of the bushfires and coronavirus - which it may choose to ‘look through’ - or the beginning of more entrenched weakness in the labour market. Consequently it will want to see ample evidence of this in the data flow and may not get a clear signal until early in the second half of the year.
 
February
N/A
March
HOLD
It will allow the RBA to assess the lag effects of the June cut from last year, but that all depends on the impacts of the Coronovirus and the bushfires.
 
February
N/A
March
HOLD
The RBA is likely to hold rates in March, allowing more time for the effects of its previous cuts to flow through the economy. The Board has noted the potential risk for lower rates to spur on increased borrowing and debt in the housing market at the time of an upswing, where the Australian household has only just started repairing balance sheets. A recent rise in unemployment may increase the chance of a rate cut sooner than previously thought, but not enough for a cut in March.
 
February
HOLD
March
HOLD
There are downside risks to the RBA's current forecasts which, if crystallised, will bring forward a rate cut from the time currently expected by the market.
 

When will we see the bottom of the rate cycle?

When will we see the bottom of the rate cycle?

Most of the experts we surveyed think the RBA will cut the cash rate as low as 0.50%. But a few predict even lower.

Watch our latest Australian property market update

How has the cash rate changed over time?

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

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

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

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.

Check out Finder's RBA survey press releases

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

    • Avatarfinder 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?

    • Avatarfinder 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?

    • Avatarfinder 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

    • Avatarfinder 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

    • Avatarfinder 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.

    • Avatarfinder 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

    • Avatarfinder 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

    • Avatarfinder 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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