Australia's central bank board debated on whether to cut interest rates this month or next, but judged a move in February was the preferred course to help steer the economy out of a prolonged period of sub-par growth.
In minutes of the Feb 3 meeting, when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its cash rate by a quarter point to a record low 2.25 percent, the central bank said members were told that growth risked staying below trend through 2015 if rates were left unchanged.
"On the basis of their assessment of current conditions and taking into account the revised forecasts, the Board judged that a further reduction in the cash rate would be appropriate to provide additional support to demand," the minutes said.
"In deciding the time of such a change, members assess arguments for acting at this meeting or at the following meeting. On balance, they judged that moving at this meeting, which offered the opportunity of early additional communication in the forthcoming Statement on Monetary Policy (SOMP), was the preferred course."