Home loan interest rates are based on decisions made by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
The RBA meets on the first Tuesday of every month to decide whether official interest rates should be changed.
Lenders then use these decisions as a basis for setting the interest rates for their individual loan products, and will usually alter interest rates a few days after any RBA announcement.
Generally, when the economy is in a trough (that's when unemployment is high and consumer spending is low) the RBA reduces interest rates to stimulate economic activity.
The reverse is the case in a 'boom' situation, when interest rates are often increased to curb consumer spending and inflation.
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