Australian dollar has declined, is helping economy-RBA

SYDNEY, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:35am EDT

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SYDNEY, March 25 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar's decline over the past year or so is playing an important role in helping stabilise the economy, a top central bankers said on Tuesday, though he would not be drawn on whether the currency was still too strong.

Asked if the dollar was "uncomfortably high", Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Deputy governor Philip Lowe said only that it had come down from the peaks seen in 2012 and early 2013, and in line with Australia's declining terms of trade.

The central bank had run a long verbal campaign to get the currency lower to assist the economy, but more recently has toned down its rhetoric.

Asked about rising house prices, Lowe said the appreciation was a natural response to stimulative monetary policy and would only be of concern if it prompted wide scale speculation in homes. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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