Australia's central bank is sounding upbeat about a sturdy labour market, a falling currency and resilient household consumption, but warned protectionist trade policies in the United States were a "material risk."

The global picture was muddied by an escalating tariff row after the United States announced import duties on a number of countries including China earlier this year, minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) September policy meeting showed.

"Members observed that there were still significant tensions around global trade policy and that this represented a material risk to the outlook," minutes showed.

"The direction of international trade policy in the United States continued to be a source of uncertainty for the outlook for the world economy."

The warning comes as U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on another USD 200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The RBA Board reiterated the need for domestic monetary policy to remain accommodative for some while yet, as it awaits a further fall in the unemployment rate and a pick-up in inflation.

The RBA last cut rates to 1.5% in August 2016, notching up the longest period without a change in modern history. Financial markets are wagering this steady spell could extend into 2020.

Indeed, the Board saw "no strong case" for a near-term shift, although the next move in the cash rate would more likely be an increase.

Recent strength in the labour market, an increase in minimum wages and the promise of personal tax cuts have helped reduce some of the uncertainty around the outlook for household consumption, members noted.

Board members downplayed recent increases in mortgage rates by domestic lenders noting there was still evidence of competition for good quality borrowers. is an independent macroeconomic consultancy with thousands of subscribers all over the world. We provide fundamental research to help our clients make better investing decisions. Our subscribers should expect to get access to:

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