Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison(R) greets Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe (L) at the Reserve Bank in Sydney on Wednesday. Peter Parks/ AFP
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison meet with the country’s central bank chief on Wednesday to discuss the nation’s slowing economy as pressure grows for urgent fiscal stimulus.
The meeting with Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Phillip Lowe was part of a scheduled post-election briefing, but the talks took on greater significance amid a steep slowdown in the A$1.9 trillion ($1.31 trillion) economy.
Lowe on Tuesday said the RBA was considering cutting interest rates, the first cut in three years, to stimulate an economy slowing due to sluggish consumer spending and with lukewarm inflation. The RBA last eased policy to a record low 1.50% in August 2016.
Lowe called on the re-elected government to play its part in boosting household incomes, citing tax relief as a major remedy.
A source familiar with details of Tuesday’s meeting said the RBA governor briefed the prime minister on the state of the economy and global economic conditions. The source declined to be named as she is not authorised to talk to the media.
Australia’s domestic activity likely slowed in the three-months ended March to an annual 1.7%, the weakest since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Morrison, whose conservative coalition defied polls on Saturday to secure a third straight three-year term, made economic management the centrepiece of his re-election campaign. Australia has recorded 28 years of consecutive economic growth.
Morrison’s Liberal National coalition promised immediate tax cuts for 10 million middle- and low-income earners - worth up to A$1,080 ($746.28) per person, but his major policy now faces delays.
Vote counting and checking was unlikely to be finished in time for parliament to convene before the end of the financial year on June 30, when rebates were set to be issued once Australians filed their tax returns.
Australia’s crumbling housing market, where prices are down almost 10% from their 2017 highs, is also dragging on the economy.
Australia’s prudential regulator said on Tuesday it plans to relax some of the norms banks use to determine how much they can lend to customers, boosting expectations the move would boost borrowing.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is praying for the safe return of a student missing in North Korea for the past week, he said on Tuesday, as authorities struggle to learn the man’s whereabouts.
Australia is to fund a $250 million (US$173 million) grants programme for the Solomon Islands, according to reports on Monday, as Canberra confronts a growing Chinese influence in the region.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will meet with executives from the national broadcaster on Tuesday as he sought to calm tensions following two police raids
European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde warned on Thursday that the pandemic still poses “serious risks” to the eurozone economy as concerns grow about new virus variants and sluggish vaccination campaigns.
The UAE SMEs sector contribute to more than 53 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP, and this percentage is expected to rise to 60 per cent by the end of 2021, and to higher levels in the coming years,
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) continued to advance its sustainable development agenda within the country and abroad through clean-energy initiatives.