NRA welcomes pause on interest rate hikes

NRA interest rate pause
The RBA has left its cash rate unchanged at 3.6 per cent. (Source: Bigstock)

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has held off another interest rate increase this month, after 10 consecutive hikes.

The RBA on Tuesday left its cash rate unchanged at 3.6 per cent, as expected, with policymakers saying additional time was needed to “assess the impact of the increase in interest rates to date and the economic outlook”.

The National Retail Association (NRA) welcomed the decision and added the pause would help RBA “assess the full impact of its monetary policy”.

“We ask the RBA to take its time before instituting another rate rise in May, and give the economy a chance to recover and adjust to the current landscape,” said Greg Griffith, NRA CEO.

In February, retail spending rose 6.4 per cent year on year levelling out after a period of increased volatility. Much of that was attributed to inflation rather than an increase in transactions.

“Inflation is down 6.8 per cent from 7.4 per cent last month, which comes as no surprise given consumers are reining in their spending even on non-discretionary items,” said Griffith.

“The retail sector needs targeted support to ensure Australia’s small and medium-sized business community can get on top of their expenses before they are hit by another economic challenge.”

He added the government should consider providing relief packages for businesses that are at risk of shutting down.

This article was first published on sibling website Inside Retail.