Australian reserve bank warns of slowing economy

Saturday, February 19, 2005 The outgoing governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Ian Macfarlane, has warned that the Australian economy will probably begin to slow after over a decade of solid growth. Mr Macfarlane, in a speech to the House of Representatives, said that both interest rates and inflation were likely to rise. "We forecast gradual rises in underlying inflation, with it reaching 2½ per cent by end 2005 and 3 per cent by end 2006."

The Prime Minister, John Howard, responded to the news by saying that "We will never go back to the 17 per cent interest rates under this Government" and added that homeownership "should always be something which is kept within the reach of Australians on modest incomes."