The Reserve Bank has nailed record low-interest rates to the floor until 2024 and extended its bond-buying program by another $100 billion.

The RBA this week decided to keep the cash rate at 0.1% and lowered its unemployment forecast to hit 6% by the end of this year, down from the 6.5% it forecast three months ago. Inflation and GDP forecasts have also been upgraded. Surprising most economists was the RBA’s call to extend its quantitative easing program by buying an additional $100 billion in bonds.

RBA governor Philip Lowe says the economic recovery is faster than expected and GDP is now expected to return to its pre-pandemic level by the middle of this year. “The economic recovery is well under way and has been stronger than was earlier expected,” he says.

“The board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2-3% target range. The board does not expect these conditions to be met until 2024 at the earliest.”