Australia cuts interest rate to record low | News | DW | 01.10.2019
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Australia cuts interest rate to record low

Australia's central bank has slashed interest rates for the third time since June in a bid to boost the flagging domestic economy. The rate cut comes after the country recorded its weakest annual growth in a decade.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced Tuesday it had cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to a historic low of 0.75%.

The move aims to spur growth and extend Australia's 28-year run without a recession amid fears about the country's weakening economy.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the rate cut was designed to "support employment and income growth," and reach the bank's inflation target.

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"The economy still has spare capacity and lower interest rates will help make inroads into that," he said in a statement.

It's the third time the cash rate has been lowered this year following reductions at the RBA's board meetings in June and July. Before that, the rate had been steady for almost three years.

Australia weathered the 2008 global financial crisis thanks to a mining boom, but growth has slowed significantly — the economy recently recorded its weakest annual growth in 10 years. It's also battling high household debt, weak retail trade, stagnating employment rates and low wage growth.

Read moreUS Federal Reserve lowers interest rate for first time in over a decade

"The US-China trade and technology disputes are affecting international trade flows and investment as businesses scale back spending plans because of the increased uncertainty," Lowe said.

He added that the RBA's board "is prepared to ease monetary policy further."

nm/rc (AP, AFP)

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