The RBA decided yesterday to keep interest rates at 4.10% at least until August.

Many, including economists from NAB, ANZ and Westpac, expected a 25 basis point increase, which would have been the thirteenth since rate hikes began in April last year.

RBA Governor Dr Philip Lowe said the pause would allow "time to assess the impact of the increase in interest rates to date and the economic outlook."

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), which has been critical of the last few rate hikes, welcomed the pause.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie says too many Australians are already set to lose their jobs with interest rates so high.

"The RBAs own estimates indicate that unemployment will rise to 4.5% - that’s 150,000 more people out of paid work," Ms Goldie said.

"To assure the community that more people won’t be sacrificed to unemployment to curb inflation, the Government and RBA should urgently reach a new agreement on monetary policy that includes a clear commitment to full employment."

Real estate groups have also praised yesterday's decision given mixed economic signals.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) COO Dean Milton said given easing inflation, declining vacancies and households eating into their savings, it was the right call.

"In our view, there were enough economic factors at play to warrant a stop or at least a pause to the steep tightening cycle, so this comes as welcome news," Mr Milton said.

For Joseph Hijara-Stockwell (pictured below), paying off a mortgage on Brisbane's northside, it was just a relief.

"The past 12 months have been brutal with near constant increases to our repayments," he told Savings.com.au.

"A couple more rises and we will definitely have to rethink our discretionary expenses, like subscriptions and triathlon coaching, so I was very relieved to hear the RBA weren't going to increase rates."

JoeResized.jpg

Joseph Hijara-Stockwell from Brisbane was one person relieved by Tuesday's RBA decision.

Will normal service resume in August?

Dr Lowe said in his forward guidance further tightening of monetary policy may be needed to ensure inflation returns to target levels.

Chief Westpac economist Bill Evans says the reasons he called for a hike in July remain, and did not adjust his prediction of a 4.6% terminal cash rate after yesterday's announcement.

"[Dr Lowe's comment] that 'some further tightening of monetary policy may be required' was repeated in the July Governor’s statement, having been omitted in the minutes to the June meeting but included in the June decision statement," Mr Evans pointed out.

"The language remains consistent with rate increases of 0.25% in both August and September, which is now our call."

Likewise, NAB economist Taylor Nugent interpreted the RBA's forward guidance as a sign the RBA intends to slow down how fast rates increase, not that this was nearing the peak.

"There was a little bit less discussion around the upside risk to inflation that had got them over the line to deliver hikes at the last two meetings and a little bit more about the concern on the outlook, but you've got to read that in the context of the eventual decision as well," Mr Nugent said.

"In meetings where they have paused, it makes sense that some of the weighting in the discussion on that post meeting statement does lean towards those risks to activity that are the reason they are moving more slowly.

"We can read this decision in the context of the RBA, at this stage of the cycle, [not feeling] like they need to be moving 75 basis points a quarter, but this doesn't necessarily mean they think they're at the peak."

August's decision will hinge on the release of quarterly CPI figures, released 26 July, which should give the Board a better picture of how inflation is tracking.


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All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

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