RB of Australia raises benchmark rate to 4.75%

AUSTRALIA - The Reserve Bank of Australia raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in a month, boosting it a quarter percentage point to cool a housing boom and consumer spending that it fears may fuel inflation.

Governor Ian Macfarlane and his board raised the overnight cash target rate to 4.75 percent. The rise was widely expected, and many believe the rate will climb by another 50 basis points to 5.25 percent by year's end.

The economy grew 0.9 percent in the first quarter an