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Australia central bank seen raising rates late next year: poll

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has not changed its policy settings since August 2016, when it cut rates to an all-time low of 1.50 per cent in a bid to spur inflation which has remained stubbornly below its 2-3 per cent target band.

[SYDNEY] Australia's central bank is expected to stretch its record spell of steady rates well into next year, according to a Reuters poll of 53 economists, with a 25-basis-point hike not expected before end-2019.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has not changed its policy settings since August 2016, when it cut rates to an all-time low of 1.50 per cent in a bid to spur inflation which has remained stubbornly below its 2-3 per cent target band.

The RBA had last raised rates in November 2010 to 4.75 per cent.

Of the 53 economists polled, 52 forecast the RBA would stand pat at its policy meeting on Oct 2, with one predicting a cut.

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Market voices on:

As many as 15 of 52 respondents see at least one hike by December 2019 while 22 still see no change.

Of the 48 economists who gave forecasts into 2020, 15 see a steady outlook, including Perpetual, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, AMP, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered and Westpac.

That compared with 11 in the last poll on Aug 31.

Overall, the median results are unchanged from the previous survey.

REUTERS