Australia C.Bank Keeps Rates at 0.1, Upgrades Forecasts

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SYDNEY, May 4 Reuters Australias central bank left its key rates at near zero for a fifth straight meeting on Tuesday and pledged to keep policy super loose for a prolonged period even though the countrys economy is set to expand at a stronger than expected pace.

The Reserve Bank of Australia RBA reiterated its commitment to keep policy accommodative for as long as is needed to pull down unemployment and push inflation higher, signalling the cash rate would remain at recordlow 0.1 until at least 2024.

The RBAs asexpected decision comes as it painted a rosy picture of the A2 trillion 1.55 trillion economy, and upgraded the growth forecast to 4.75 over 2021, from its February forecast of 3.5.

The jobless rate is seen declining to be around 5 at the end of this year and 4.5 at Dec2022. In February, the RBAs forecast had unemployment at 5.5 by end2022.

The central bank will release detailed forecasts on Friday at 0130 GMT.

The RBA cut interest rates three times last year, announced a yield curve control YCC programme to keep threeyear government bond yields at 10 basis points and launched a massive quantitative easing programme targeting longer term bonds.

In a postmeeting statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the board will consider future bond purchases at its July board meeting, following the completion of its second round of A100 billion 77.40 billion quantitative easing programme.

The Board is prepared to undertake further bond purchases to assist with…

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