International economic development Members commenced their discussion of international economic developments by noting that the global outlook had improved, and risks had become more balanced, because of progress in vaccinations and the provision of additional fiscal support. Growth in the global economy was expected to rebound solidly in both the current and the following year. Even so, the global recovery remained uneven. Output remained well below pre-pandemic levels in a number of countries because of recurring outbreaks of COVID-19, and in some emerging market economies, where financial conditions had tightened, there was limited scope for ongoing large-scale fiscal support. The level of output was expected to remain below its pre-pandemic trajectory in many economies over the forecast period, with the United States and China notable exceptions.
It was said to be one of the most important budgets in Australia’s history, but as is often the case, there wasn’t a lot on offer for property investors. However, as we’ve seen over the past 12 months, there continues to be a large focus on helping first home buyers get into the property market.
Policy actions during COVID The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has taken a number of complementary policy actions to support the Australian economy since the onset of COVID. The RBA has lowered its policy interest rate to near zero, set a target for the 3-year government bond yield, enhanced its forward guidance, commenced a program of purchasing government bonds and provided long-term low-cost funding to the banking system. I will explain each of these actions in more detail shortly.