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Lower $A needed to support growth: RBA

It’s huffed and it’s puffed but the Reserve Bank still can’t get the Australian dollar down.

深圳桑拿网

The currency has taken a dramatic tumble in recent months, falling almost 10 US cents.

It hit a fresh four-year low this week of 85.41 US cents.

But still, the RBA is unhappy.

“Despite the recent depreciation of the exchange rate, the Australian dollar remains above most estimates of its fundamental value, particularly given the further declines in key commodity prices over the course of this year,” the RBA said in its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy on Friday.

“As a result, the exchange rate is offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy.”

JP Morgan economist Ben Jarman said the RBA had indicated that it wanted the currency, rather than interest rates, to provide further stimulus to the economy.

“There is still a lot hanging on the currency to provide the marginal stimulus that monetary policy is not,” Mr Jarman said.

CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said the falling Australian dollar was no doubt providing the RBA with more confidence, helping the economy rebalance as the mining investment boom winds down.

“In addition the lower currency would normally have a more significant inflationary impact however given the slide in commodity prices and subdued domestic wage growth, inflation should remain well and truly in check over the forecast period,” Mr Sebastian said.

The RBA said the currency was still overvalued and was worried that economic woes in Japan, where the central bank has just expanded its already vast bond-buying program, could make the Australian dollar even more attractive, and hold it “at a higher level than real economic fundamentals would imply”.

It cited the exchange rate as one of the key sources of uncertainty plaguing the Australian economy.

The RBA said it hoped the currency would depreciate further once the US Federal Reserve started hiking its interest rates, which is expected to occur next year.

It said a lower Australian dollar should boost economic growth.

“Other things being equal, a further depreciation of the Australian dollar would tend to support demand for Australian producers, thereby adding somewhat to growth,” the RBA said.

“Based on historical relationships, a 10 per cent depreciation of the Australian dollar (that is not associated with any further decline in commodity prices) would be expected to increase output by half-to-one per cent over a period of two years or so.”

In the meantime, low interest rates would continue to do the heavy lifting by supporting demand and helping economic growth to strengthen, the RBA said.

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