Australia cuts rates as global central banks move to head off trade shocks

SWATI PANDEY | June 4, 2019

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Australia cut interest rates to a record low on Tuesday as a worsening trade war between Beijing and Washington raises recession risks for the world economy and pushes major central banks into what could be a global monetary easing cycle. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowered rates by a quarter of a percentage point for the first time in nearly three years to 1.25%. The easing comes a day before first-quarter data is expected to show the A$1.9 trillion ($1.33 trillion) economy hitting its weakest annual growth in a decade. RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the rate cut was designed to support employment growth and ensure inflation was consistent with its 2%-to-3% medium-term target. He also noted increasing downside risks for the global economy stemming from trade disputes.

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