August 3, 2018 / 9:15 AM / 8 months ago

Australia cash rates seen at record lows well into 2019 - Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past the Reserve Bank of Australia building in central Sydney, Australia, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s central bank is seen extending its record stretch of stable rates until September next year, according to a Reuters poll.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last cut rates to 1.50 percent in August 2016, and with inflation staying low, markets are settled in for a prolonged period of steady policy.

Of the 38 economists polled, 37 forecast the RBA would stand pat at its policy meeting on Aug. 7, with one predicting a cut.

A rise in the cash rate to 1.75 percent is not seen before the September quarter of 2019, according to a median of 37 analysts, unchanged from last month’s poll.

Of the 38 analysts polled, 11 predicted at least one hike by June 2019 versus one who tipped cuts, and as many as 25 still see no change by the RBA in that period, as inflation lingers stubbornly below the bank’s 2-3 percent target band.

AMP, JPMorgan, UBS and Westpac predict a steady outlook until early 2020.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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