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RBA establishes new panel to ‘strengthen dialogue’ with private sector

The central bank has confirmed a new biannual panel consisting of private sector economists to “strengthen its existing dialogue” with the space. 

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), this panel will consist of private sector economists, with the central bank noting that there will be at least two meetings every year. 

The first meeting of this panel is expected to commence on 6 October. 

Further, the RBA has confirmed that it will be increasing the number of attendees at meetings of its existing economist panel from members of academia. 

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This panel is also tipped to meet biannually at a minimum, with the first to be held on 27 September.  

Both of these panels will be chaired by the RBA’s governor and the central bank’s senior staff. 

The RBA has said it envisages both panels to “consist of up to a dozen members” with participation rotating over time. 

In a statement, the RBA said the intention of this move was based on improving its relationship with the economic sector. 

“The RBA has extensive liaison with members of the community and values the insights and understanding this brings,” the central bank said. 

“It is seeking to strengthen its existing dialogue with the economics profession.” 

RBA governor Philip Lowe elaborated on this, noting that the step was an opportunity to improve how it engages with the perspectives of other economists. 

“This is an opportunity for us to hear and discuss the views of other economists in a more structured way than has been done to date,” Mr Lowe said. 

“We look forward to listening, discussing and learning.”

However, the announcement of these panels also follows the confirmation that the federal government will undertake a review into the central bank. 

Last month, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that the review was not focused on “revolutionising monetary policy in Australia”

“It’s about reviewing it, and then refining it and reforming it,” Mr Chalmers said. 

It equally comes after mounting criticism towards the RBA that it was too slow to lift the cash rate as inflation continued to lift. 

In April, following confirmation that annual inflation had reached 5.1 per cent, economists across the country, including three of the big four banks, said there was no choice for the RBA to lift interest rates by May

Prior to May’s hike, Mr Lowe contested that the RBA would not lift rates until wage growth was between 2–3 per cent, a vision that was previously suspected to occur no earlier than 2023

[Related: RBA Review will 'refine and reform' rather than revolutionise: Treasurer]

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