Australia Central Bank Cuts Rates to Record-Low 2.75%

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:23 AM

 

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Australia's central bank cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a record low 2.75 percent Tuesday in an effort to boost economic growth.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement following the bank's monthly board meeting that economic growth was below trend in the second half of 2012 and continued to be that way in 2013.

"Employment has continued to grow but more slowly than the labor force, so that the rate of unemployment has increased a little, though it remains relatively low," he said.

"The global economy is likely to record growth a little below trend this year, before picking up next year," he said.

The central bank last lowered its Official Cash Rate in December, cutting it by a quarter point to 3 percent.

The rate last bottomed out at 3 percent for six months in 2009 during the global financial crisis and recession.

Moments after the bank's announcement on Tuesday, the Australian dollar slid against the U.S. dollar, dropping to $1.0188 from $1.02337.

The currency ended Monday's local trading session at $1.0272.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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