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Reserve Bank of Australia

The Bank's mission and key statistics

We are Australia’s central bank and serve the people of Australia.

We conduct monetary policy, determine payments system policy, work to maintain a stable financial system, issue the nation’s banknotes, operate the core of the payments system and provide banking services to the government.

Cash rate target

4.35 %

Effective date 19 June 2024 Next update 2.30 pm, 6 August 2024

Cash rate target

Inflation

Consumer Price Index Annual change March quarter 2024

3.6 %

Monthly Indicator May 2024

4.0 %

Inflation

Exchange rates

Trade-weighted Index

63.7

USD

0.6701

CNY

4.8701

JPY

105.72

EUR

0.6153

As at 4.00 pm, 19 July 2024

Exchange rates

News & Announcements

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Latest News

Panel participation by John Simon, Head of Economic Research, at the Macquarie University Business School, Sydney

No text available.

More news and announcements

Coming Up

Reserve Bank Board Meeting

Monetary Policy Decision

Monetary Policy Decision Statement

Media Release

Media Conference

Monetary Policy Decision

Chart Pack: Graphs on the Australian economy and financial markets

Speech by Michele Bullock, Governor, at the Annual Rotary Lecture, Armidale

Speech by Andrew Hauser, Deputy Governor, at the ESA Business Lunch, Brisbane

More upcoming events

July Bulletin is out now

In this edition we feature articles on the output gap, employment, housing, financial stability risks & more.

About the Reserve Bank of Australia

We are Australia’s central bank.
Learn more about what we do and how we do it.

Transcript

Michele Bullock, Governor (2023 – Present)

Our job here at the Reserve Bank is to serve the community. The Parliament of Australia has given the Reserve Bank some very important responsibilities. It is our duty to promote the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia, both now and into the future. We do this in many ways, including by setting monetary policy to maintain price stability and full employment, by contributing to the efficiency and stability of the payments system and the stability of the financial system, and by banking the Australian Government and providing the nation’s banknotes.

Probably the thing we do that is most familiar to people is set the level of interest rates. This is known as ‘monetary policy’, where we change interest rates to try to smooth fluctuations in the economy. The interest rate we control is the cash rate, which is the rate that banks charge each other to borrow overnight. Now this interest rate influences other interest rates in the economy, such as those charged on your loans, or those you earn on your savings. Changes in interest rates influence people’s decisions to buy things or invest money, and they affect the exchange rate and the value of any assets that people might hold, such as homes or shares. All this affects economic activity. In deciding where to set the cash rate, we want to keep inflation low and stable, averaging 2-3 per cent – our inflation ‘target’, if you like. But we want to do it in a way that keeps the level of employment as high as possible. These outcomes are essential for a prosperous economy.

But there are many other things that we are responsible for as well.

The Reserve Bank’s also responsible for the stability of the financial system. We typically think of a stable financial system as one that is safe and helps money flow within the economy, even when there are disruptive events. We contribute to financial stability in a number of ways. One important way is by setting monetary policy that helps keep inflation low and stable and people fully employed. We also collaborate with other financial regulators – Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Treasury – through the Council of Financial Regulators to identify risks in the financial system and to develop plans to address them if they arise. In extreme situations, we can also provide lending to financial institutions that are sound but experiencing difficulties with liquidity.

Now we also make and distribute Australia’s banknotes. We have some of the highest quality and most secure banknotes in the world and they use technology that we in Australia invented, the Bank invented it with the CSIRO in the 1980s – polymer, or if you like, plastic banknotes. We have a purpose-built banknote printing facility and vault in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. It might surprise many people that despite the use of electronic payments increasing, there is still a lot of demand for banknotes, particularly as a store of value.

We also operate the payment system that is at the centre of the movement of money in Australia. When money goes from one bank to another, say when you pay a bill to somebody who banks with a different bank, the money comes through the Reserve Bank. We are also constantly looking at innovations to provide Australians with the most efficient and secure ways to pay. For example, we worked with the banks to develop the New Payments Platform, which allows people to make payments in close to real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And we are looking at how the nature of money and the payments system could evolve as technology changes.

We are the banker for the Australian Government. So, when you get a Medicare refund, pay your tax or receive a refund, those transactions occur through the government’s bank accounts here at the Reserve Bank. It’s the same if you’ve ever needed a disaster relief or other support payment, perhaps during the COVID-19 pandemic, floods or bushfires. We know that many people rely on these payments, and we feel privileged to partner with the government in getting these vital payments to you quickly and reliably.

A lot of research, analysis, innovation and support is required to deliver all of these functions. We do all this with a bit over 1,500 people. Most of us are located here in Sydney. But we have a banking branch in Canberra and offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Beijing, London and New York.

We’re the nation’s central bank and we take our responsibilities to the Australian people very seriously.

Find out about our role and functions

Careers

Ready to be part of something bigger? Use your talents and experience to make a difference for millions of Australians. Explore careers at the Bank, our current opportunities or our intern and graduate programs and discover how you can be more.

RBA Museum

Explore Australia's banknotes from before Federation to the introduction of decimal currency and our current banknote series. Learn about banknote designs and the people on them, including First Nations peoples, other Notable Australians and Queen Elizabeth II.

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