Mar 2, 2005

Australia Hikes Rates


Australia's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in 15 months to curb inflation. The currency fell after a report showing the economy barely grew last quarter increased speculation rates won't be raised again this year.

Gross domestic product in the three months ended Dec. 31 rose just 0.1 percent, the slowest growth in four years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney today. The Reserve Bank of Australia's board, led by Governor Ian Macfarlane, increased the overnight cash rate target a quarter percentage point to 5.5 percent.

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