November 20, 2018 / 11:46 AM / 5 months ago

Australia's central bank chief says unemployment could fall further

Australia's new Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe speaks at a parliamentary economics committee meeting in Sydney, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s unemployment could ease further from the current 6-1/2 year low without putting too much upward pressure on wages, the head of the country’s central bank said on Tuesday.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe noted the jobless rate in the country’s two biggest states - New South Wales and Victoria - was between 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent but that still failed to accelerate annual wage growth.

“I suspect nationwide, we could go to 4.5 percent unemployment without lifting wage growth too much,” he said, responding to questions following a speech titled “trust and prosperity.”

The unemployment rate is at 5.0 percent with annual wage growth at 2.3 percent.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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