(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s government renewed its pact with the Reserve Bank on the framework of monetary policy, which maintains the inflation target at between 2 to 3% and places a greater focus on communication from policymakers.
The Statement on the Conduct of Monetary Policy released by Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Friday specifies that the central bank should aim for the midpoint of the inflation target, still some way off from the current rate of 5.4%. The RBA also agreed to provide reasons if it missed the contract’s targets on inflation or unemployment, along with expectations of when it was likely to meet them.
While no specific jobless target was set in the revised agreement, the RBA is required to explain if labor market conditions are expected to “deviate significantly from those consistent with full employment.”
The pact also confirms the RBA’s dual objectives of price stability and full employment, saying “the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia” should be monetary policy’s overarching goal. This was a recommendation of a review of the RBA ordered by Chalmers shortly after coming to government in May 2022.
This is the eighth version of the overarching agreement between the government and the Reserve Bank since the first framework was put in place in 1996, shortly after the election of then-Prime Minister John Howard.
The new statement is the latest step in Chalmers’ campaign to overhaul Australia’s central bank following criticism of the institution in recent years. The complaints have ranged from the bank’s pre-Covid reluctance to cut interest rates to a pledge that they wouldn’t rise before 2024 and a messy yield-target exit — all of which damaged the institution’s credibility.
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