Treasurer sees case for RBA review

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Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg believes there is a case to review the operations of the independent Reserve Bank of Australia.

Last month the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said there should be a review into the RBA’s monetary policy framework, noting underlying inflation has undershot its two to three per cent target band since 2015.

The RBA does not expect inflation to be sustainably within the target before 2024.

Economists like Westpac’s Bill Evans also thinks the two to three per cent inflation target has been set too high for too long when other major central banks target two per cent.

“I think there is a case there for having a review. It has been a number of years since they have had a review into their operation,” Mr Frydenberg said in an online address to the Citi Australia and New Zealand investment conference on Wednesday.

“That is something that I am certainly open to and I’ll continue to talk to the Treasury and the RBA about a timetable.”

Labor has backed an RBA review for some time, believing it could be to its benefit.

“I don’t think this is about beating up on the institution, but about making it better in the interest of all Australians,” shadow assistant minister for treasury Andrew Leigh said in a recent interview.

Dr Leigh said the RBA is less transparent than some of its peers, noting that it doesn’t hold press conferences when it announces its policy decisions and doesn’t produce the minutes of the meeting showing the voting decisions that members make.

“(It) has a board which is largely made up of talented generalists rather than monetary policy experts,” he said.

“I think, given what we’ve seen in the inflation performance over recent years, it is appropriate to have a look at that.”

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Categories: RBA