BBC News

Australia interest rates held unexpectedly at 4.5%

image captionAustralia's strong mining sector has boosted its economy

The Central Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged at 4.5% for a fifth month in a row.

Markets were expecting the bank to resume the series of rate increases that took place between October 2009 and May 2010, designed to prevent the economy from overheating.

But the bank decided to wait due to uncertainties over the global economy.

Some investors expect a rate increase in November to keep inflation under control.

Australia was the only major developed economy to avoid recession during the global downturn.

The country's economy has benefited from a boom in the mining and energy industries, supported by strong sales to China and India.

The central bank's surprise decision hit the Australian dollar, but was positive for equity markets, as a halt to currency appreciation will benefit exporters.