SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is “very carefully” watching the effects of a severe drought that has wasted vast tracts of grazing and crop land in eastern Australia, the country’s main food bowl.
Australia recorded its fifth-driest July on record last month. It was the driest January-to-July period in New South Wales state since 1965 and marked seven consecutive months of below-average rainfall for the state.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the board discussed the drought at its last meeting on Aug. 7 and even looked at rainfall maps. Lowe was speaking in Canberra before a parliamentary economics committee.
Reporting by Swati Pandey and Wayne Cole; Editing by Michael Perry