The Reserve Bank of Australia is sticking to its guns.
Not that anyone was expecting the central bank to adjust the cash rate from the ultra-low 2.5 per cent that has applied since August.
Or expecting the RBA to suggest a change from its clear preference to sit back and wait.
The RBA said monetary policy was “appropriately configured” to promote sustainable growth and on-target inflation.
At the same time though, that sustainable rate of growth – what RBA and Treasury officials refer to as “trend” – will not arrive right way.
In the meantime the fallout from a year or so of below trend growth will continue to settle on the economy.
“The demand for labour has remained weak and, as a result, the rate of unemployment has continued to edge higher,” the RBA said in its customary post-meeting statement.
“It will probably rise a little further in the near term.”
But low interest rates – or what it calls “accommodative monetary policy” – should boost spending and help growth to pick up “over time”, the RBA said.
“On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates,” it said.
However, present indications could be misleading.
The RBA’s discussion of the state of the economy in its statement amounts to a long list of pluses and minuses.
The pluses included rising exports, slightly more buoyant consumer spending, expansion in housing construction and a lower exchange rate.
The minuses include subdued government spending, the fading mining investment boom, and the exchange rate, which although being lower than it was a year or so ago, is still relatively high and above where it was a few months ago.
Deviations of any of these positives and negatives from the RBA’s expectations could drag its forecasters right back to square one.
So, while the RBA has a clear idea of where it thinks the economy is going, it’s likely to see its forecasts as more of a working hypothesis than a firm expectation.
And as a result, its outlook for a period of steady rates ahead of presumably an eventual rise to more normal levels, should be seen as highly dependant on how things actually turn out.
And there’s no guarantees there.