The Reserve Bank of Australia has reduced its benchmark interest rate seven times since the end of 2011 and has cut the rate to a record-low 2.75%. Most economists had expected the central bank to maintain the rate. "The board has previously noted that the inflation outlook would afford scope to ease further, should that be necessary to support demand," RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said. "At today's meeting, the board decided to use some of that scope. It judged that a further decline in the cash rate was appropriate to encourage sustainable growth in the economy."