Research Discussion Paper – RDP 9703 The Implementation of Monetary Policy in Australia


In January 1990, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) began announcing and explaining changes in the target cash rate. This has increased public understanding of monetary policy and, by increasing the attention given to changes in interest rates, has affected the way in which changes in policy are transmitted to the economy. In addition, the discipline of having to announce and explain changes in the target cash rate to the public has led to a clearer focus on the objectives of monetary policy within the RBA and improved the accountability of the Bank. It has also led to a substantial decline in the volatility of short-term interest rates and more rapid pass-through of changes in the target cash rate into deposit and lending rates.

In Australia, as in many other countries, interest rates have tended to be adjusted in a series of steps in the same direction. In part, this can be explained in terms of the uncertainty that policy-makers face, and the costs involved in frequently reversing the direction of interest-rate changes.

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