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Australia's central bank sees no shock that could force a rate rise

[SYDNEY] Australia's central bank is well aware that the country's heavily indebted households would struggle if interest rates were to rise sharply, but there is no shock on the horizon that could force such an increase, a top banker said on Monday.

Answering questions after a speech on business investment, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) deputy governor Guy Debelle was asked if households were vulnerable to external shocks given their high debt loads.

Mr Debelle said a material rise in rates would indeed pressure households, but saw no case where the RBA would be forced to take such policy steps.

The central bank has kept rates at a record low of 1.5 per cent for over a year, and shows every sign of leaving them there for some time yet.


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