There was always going to be especially keen interest in the RBA’s decision on interest rates during the last couple of weeks of a federal election campaign which is being held against the backdrop of a slowing domestic and global economy and below-target inflation.
The RBA’s decision to hold the cash rate at 1.5 per cent for now was caveated by its intention to closely monitor movements in the labour market. That will undoubtedly include a very careful eye on our industry which is Australia’s biggest employer (a point we’ll be making when we meet with the RBA later this month).
Monetary policy is of course just one of the levers that can influence the direction of the economy. There are other steps governments can take to buttress confidence and deliver certainty, which are set out in our policy platform the election and covered in more detail in Property Australia this week.
One of our recommendations is for the appointment of a federal minister for housing to better connect the dots across the different policy areas that impact on housing supply which is so critical to our economic and social fabric.
Working across three levels of government in different state and territories perhaps wouldn’t be the easiest job in Cabinet, but with a housing sector valued at almost $7 trillion (more than twice that of the stock market) and as one of the big engines for the Australian economy, it certainly should be one of the more important.