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The Reserve Bank of Australia has shifted its thinking and is no longer so confident of the mining sector's continued strength, economists say.
Minutes from the RBA's October 2 meeting, released on Tuesday, show that weakened commodity prices, together with more general concerns about the mining sector, were behind the central bank's decision to cut the cash rate.
Macquarie senior economist Brian Redican said the minutes showed a shift in the bank's thinking - with the future of the mining industry coming under closer scrutiny.
"The reason why that's so important is that it's been the backbone of the RBA's faith in the Australian economy in the last couple of years," he said.
"Now, there are more question marks about that. It represents a big shift.
"I think what stood out for us from the minutes was just how extensive those risks are. The Reserve Bank does have access to liaison with the companies, and they seem to be getting the message that there are some substantial cutbacks in spending."
Mr Redican said it was now up to the RBA to consider what impact this change might have on wider sectors of the economy, including the labour market and fiscal policy.
The RBA lowered the cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point, to 3.25 per cent, at the October meeting.
RBC fixed income strategist Michael Turner said the RBA's comments were the most significant part the minutes.
"They do flesh out their view on the mining sector a bit more and it's not particularly upbeat," he said.
"Some of the comments are probably a little bit more suggestive of them being a little bit more concerned than we might have known before."
Mr Turner said he predicted the central bank would cut its interest in November, which was in line with what the futures market expected.
"We think they'll take a pause after that," Mr Turner said.
"It'll be three per cent by then and we think the rate will be cut to 2.75 per cent some time in the first quarter of 2013."
JP Morgan Australia chief economist Stephen Walters said the central bank officials were revising the way they interpreted global and local economic events.
"Notably, the impact of China's slowdown on the mining investment boom and the amount of slack in the labour market, an apparent re-assessment reinforced by last week's jobs report," he said.
"They clearly have, however, changed the balance of expected growth, paring back the expected contribution from the miners."
Mr Walters said there was a expectation that the minutes would be more dovish - showing signs there'd be more rate cuts.
"Those anticipating this will be feeling a little disappointed," he said.
"Yes, there are flourishes of dovishness in the commentary, particularly in reference to the terms of trade and the pronounced weakness in construction, but there also was a generous sprinkling of hints that the RBA is not poised to slash the cash rate.
"Prominent among these was the reference to rising house prices and the still large amount of mining investment to come, even though there is a new-found reluctance to commit to new spending."
Mr Walters said he expected one more RBA rate cut this year and another early in 2013.
Based on information provided by and with the permission of the Western Australian Land Information Authority (2013) trading as Landgate.