March 2, 2018 / 8:42 AM / 17 days ago

Australia central bank seen keeping rates steady at March meeting: Reuters poll

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s central bank is seen as all but certain to keep its cash rate at a record low 1.5 percent at its monthly policy meeting next week, a Reuters poll of economists showed.

A man smokes next to the Reserve Bank of Australia headquarters in central Sydney, Australia February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Of 27 economists surveyed, 26 forecast the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) would stand pat at its policy meeting on March 6.

The RBA eased twice in 2016 but has since held steady as it awaits a pick up in wage growth and inflation amid a jobs boom.

While the majority predicted the central bank would keep rates steady until the third quarter this year, 14 of 27 respondents forecast that it would tighten at least once by December of 2018.

The cash rate is seen at 2.0 percent by mid-2019, according to the median of 24 economists.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Polling by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Kim Coghill

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