Morning Briefing: RBA says housing concerns are easing
Australia’s central bank said inflation would remain low and the economy could grow faster, while house-price concerns had cooled, in explaining its decision to cut interest rates for the second time in four months.
“While prospects for growth were positive, there was room for stronger growth, which could be assisted by lower interest rates,” the Reserve Bank of Australia said in minutes of its Aug. 2 meeting, when the benchmark was reduced to a fresh record low of 1.5%. “The risks associated with rising household sector leverage and rapid gains in housing prices had diminished.”
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens and his board are using easy policy and a weaker currency to encourage growth in services like tourism and education amid the winding down of a once-in-a-century mining boom. It’s been hit and miss: while the economy has grown faster than the central bank predicted and unemployment remained under 6%, core inflation and wage growth are both at record lows and there’s little sign of a pick-up in business investment.
“There continued to be considerable uncertainty about momentum in the domestic labor market and the extent to which domestic inflationary pressures would rise over the next few years,” the central bank said.
Federal court sides with ASIC against WA developer
A West Australian-based property developer has had to surrender her passport as the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) continues their investigation into a property investment scheme in the Pilbara.
Perth’s Federal Court has made interim orders against Desiree Veronica Macpherson that require her to surrender all passports held by her, any visa entitling her to enter, visit or reside in any country other than Australia and any airline ticket(s) for travel outside Australia until further notice.
Macpherson is a director and direct/indirect shareholder of companies Macro Realty Developments Pty Ltd, Macro Realty Pty Ltd, Macro All State Investments and Securities Ltd, Macro All State Investments and Securities Ltd, Pilbara Property Developments Pty Ltd, which form the Macro Group.
The Federal Court also made interim asset preservation orders against Macpherson and the Macro Group, as well as restraining her and the Macro Group from providing financial services advice, dealing in financial products, promoting financial products and otherwise carrying on a financial services business.