May 19, 2020 / 1:51 AM / 15 days ago

Australia faces 'unprecedented' economic hit from coronavirus - RBA minutes

SYDNEY, May 19 (Reuters) - Australia is facing a “significant” and “unprecedented” economic contraction due to the coronavirus pandemic, though massive fiscal and monetary policy stimulus would help cushion the blow, minutes of the country’s central bank’s latest meeting showed on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had on May 5 left the cash rate at 0.25% in a widely expected move and recommited to buying as much government debt as needed to keep three-year bond yields near 0.25%.

The minutes showed board members discussed a range of economic scenarios in their policy deliberations, with the baseline case for gross domestic product to fall by 10% in the first half and 6% for all of 2020. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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