Retailers Welcome March Cash Rate Pause

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has welcomed the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision today to again hold cash rates at 4.35%.

It comes as Australia’s inflation retreated to a two-year low in the December quarter, the most recent data.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said March’s rate decision will give the retail industry and Australians much-needed relief as the cost-of-living crunch continues to bite.

“This decision is no surprise given the downward inflationary trend however, it provides important stability for Australians and businesses.

“At a time of immense financial pressure and hardship for most, holding the cash rate remaining stable at 4.35% since November is an important confidence signal for our economy.

“Retail performance has been subdued in recent months, with discretionary spending taking a significant hit. Whilst interest rates have remained on hold for four months, most Australian household budgets remain under significant pressure.

“With the rising cost of doing business and softening discretionary spending putting strong pressure on retailers, this is a much-needed break.”

Following March’s cash rate decision, the RBA will meet again on May 7 – with just eight meetings in 2024.

“With inflation reducing considerably, we’re hopeful the RBA may consider reducing interest rates in the near future,” Mr Zahra added.

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