6 Oct

Interest rate holds at historic low but the next move will be up

first_imgSix of the eight capital cities saw dwelling values slip lower in March, according to CoreLogic. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito.FRESH signs have emerged that the Reserve Bank will be sitting on its hands for a while yet, though experts agree that the next time they do decide to move it will be up.RBA Governor Philip Lowe today confirmed the board had decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent today, a move that was widely expected.He made particular mention of a housing slowdown in the country’s two biggest markets – Sydney and Melbourne.“The housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne have slowed,” he said. “Nationwide measures of housing prices are little changed over the past six months, with prices having recorded falls in some areas. “In the eastern capital cities, a considerable additional supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoRBA Governor Philip Lowe still has his eye on “considerable additional supply of apartments” hitting some capitals. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian“APRA’s supervisory measures and tighter credit standards have been helpful in containing the build-up of risk in household balance sheets, although the level of household debt remains high.”CoreLogic head of research Australasia, Tim Lawless, said mortgage rates were close to historic lows for owner occupiers paying both interest and principal with investors were looking at a 60 basis point premium though still low compared to the long term average.“While the RBA has flagged the next move in interest rates will be a rise, it remains likely that any hike to the cash rate is well in the future,” he said. CoreLogic expected to see housing market conditions move further down the RBA’s list of priorities “considering the market is showing every sign of moving through a soft landing”. RBA made particular note of a housing market slowdown in Sydney. Picture: John GraingerMr Lawless said the pace of declines in value had eased in recent months.“The controlled slowdown in the housing sector is likely to be a welcome outcome from the RBA, who are more likely to be focusing on labour markets, where the rate of unemployment, although lower than a year ago, crept higher, from 5.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent in February.”Record low wages growth was “keeping a lid on inflation and household consumption”, he said.“National dwelling values were flat last month, however six of the eight capital cities saw dwelling values slip lower in March, albeit at a reduced rate of decline relative to other months.”last_img read more

23 Sep

COVID-19 measures have slowed down spread of virus- CAS Mwangangi

first_imgIn February, the President constituted the National Emergency and Response Committee that was mandated to provide policy directions on the response towards the COVID-19 outbreak.Also Read  Teachers to report back to school on MondayA team of rapid responders and contact tracers are on standby to investigate alerts and follow up contacts of confirmed cases.In order to increase the testing capacity, the country has 33 public and private laboratories in twelve counties. Also, three mobile laboratories have been set up in Maai Mahiu, Namanga and Malaba border points.Also Read  2/3rd gender headache: Maraga calls for dissolution of ParliamentDr Mwangangi said that the Ministry is also conducting targeted mass testing in identified hotspots in Nairobi and Mombasa.Through these efforts, the CAS said that a total of 353, 727 samples have been tested.Additionally, the Ministry introduced a mandatory screening of cargo vessels crew at all points of entry.This move was to minimize the importation of cases from countries affected by the virus.Cumulatively, 896,612 individuals have been screened at all points since January to 7th August 2020.Also Read  Women leaders welcome CJ’s decision to dissolve ParliamentTravel restrictions were introduced. A countrywide curfew was introduced in March and remains in force.To protect the health care workers, the Government has distributed 9283 complete Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to all 47 counties as well as national government facilities.“Distribution of additional PPEs is still ongoing,” said CAS Mwangangi.The Ministry of Health has so far documented over more than 28,000 positive cases including 460 fatalities.Total recoveries reported stands 15,100. The Government says mitigation mechanisms developed by the Health Ministry have significantly slowed down the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.  During the Covid-19 press briefing Thursday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi said the measures taken were in line International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization to which Kenya is a signatory.In March, the Health Ministry introduced response measures mainly to stop the disease from entering the country. Through the Interior Ministry, security was heightened at the border points, health facilities and the communities across the country.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153last_img read more