Mur'bah retailers lose boost as interest rates put on hold

Murwillumbah business leader Toni Zuschke is disappointed rates weren't reduced.
Murwillumbah business leader Toni Zuschke is disappointed rates weren't reduced. John Gass

MARKET expectations that the Reserve Bank would cut its official interest rate by 0.25% weren't met today when the RBA announced it would keep the official rate at 3.25%.

It means the RBA will maintain the official rate at its lowest level in three years but feels a further cut is not required at this time.

Good Guys South Tweed owner Rory Curtis said keeping the rate unchanged meant business as usual and should keep self-funded retirees happy.

"It won't improve consumer sentiment and doesn't really have much of an impact on the financial position of our business."

Even if the RBA had cut rates unfortunately, the banks often have a different perspective where business borrowings were concerned.

Looking at last month's 0.25% cut for instance, the banks didn't pass on a single percentage point, Mr Curtis said.

Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce president Toni Zuschke said the RBA's decision to keep rates on hold meant the retail industry would not get a much-needed boost before Christmas.

She said people had become more frugal, savvy and wiser and the announcement rates would stay the same, would not have a major impact on spending.

Local businesses needed to be a lot more discerning in how they attracted new business.

"Retailers need to be smarter and maybe package affordable gifts," Mrs Zuschke said.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens said although the economic outlook in Europe was of concern, growth elsewhere seemed more balanced.

The USA was recording moderate growth and with key commodity prices significantly lower, terms of trade were likely to remain historically high.

With the housing market showing prospective improvements and inflation largely consistent with the medium term target, the RBA board felt keeping rates unchanged "appropriate for the time being".

Topics:  interest rates murwillumbah chamber of commerce rates reserve bank

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