RBA buys semi-government bonds as coronavirus crushes state revenues

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The Australian central bank bought semi-government bonds for the first time since the quantitative easing program launched to counter the pandemic and its impact.

The Reserve Bank of Australia purchased A$2 billion ($1.2 billion) in semi-government bonds maturing in January 2026 to June 2030.

As businesses in Australia stopped operations due to lockdown, the semi-government market has been suffering from liquidity in recent weeks. The current number of coronavirus cases in Australia has topped 2,250. Analysts say that the imposed restrictions in Australia could push the economy into a recession, the first in three decades.

Australia’s GDP fell by 5.6% in the last recession that happened in the early 1990s.

Bill Evans, Westpac chief economist said that the budget could get cut down to A$90 billion in the current fiscal year and about A$160 billion in the succeeding year. He also expects government expenditures to climb A$820 billion in June 2021, 51% higher from June 2019.

In another announcement, the central bank injected A$2 billion into the banking system on Wednesday. Surplus cash currently held by banks at the RBA reached a record A$53.6 billion.

The RBA also stated that it will provide $10 billion in addition to the global effort to meet demand for US dollars through a repo tender set to be applied on March 26.

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