Prime Minister Scott Morrison won’t be drawn on a possible interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank, saying that is a decision for the independent central bank.
He also side-stepped suggestions the interest rate speculation was due to the economy slowing under the coalition’s watch, pointing to the strong employment growth that has occurred in the past six years.
Financial markets see an increased risk of a cut in the 1.5 per cent cash rate after inflation figures released this week showed the annual rate unexpectedly drop to 1.3 per cent, well below the Reserve Bank’s two to three per cent target.
Some economists believe a rate cut could come as soon as the central bank’s May 7 monthly board meeting, just days out from the May 18 election day.
“I don’t speculate on what the Reserve Bank does. They are their decisions and I’m happy for them to make those decisions,” Mr Morrison told reporters in the north Queensland city of Townsville on Friday.
Instead, he pointed to the strong jobs growth that has occurred under the coalition and an increase in the number of small and family businesses that have started up, providing more employment opportunities.
He said the consumer price index also showed electricity prices were falling and that childcare costs were down eight per cent under his government’s policies.