Australia's central bank has left interest rates at 1.5% as it weighs the effect of past easing and the biggest-ever boom in apartment building helps underpin economic activity and jobs growth.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) surprised no one with its decision overnight.

All 57 economists polled by Reuters had expected no change this week after cuts in August and May. 

The Australian dollar barely reacted to the news.

The RBA's new Governor, Philip Lowe, also resisted any temptation to signal a bias to ease again saying only that an unchanged stance was "consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time".

Markets have been lengthening the odds of a cut since Lowe recently signalled that he was comfortable with the economic outlook and reluctant to take rates ever lower.

In particular, Lowe noted that a long slump in mining investment was past its worst and prices for some key commodity exports, notably coal and iron ore, had rebounded.

Interbank futures imply only a one-in-four chance of a cut by Christmas and have around 16 basis points of easing priced in for all of next year.

"We think the case for no more cuts is strengthening," says Paul Bloxham, chief economist Australia at HSBC.

"Economic growth is strong, commodity prices have risen, and the drag from the mining investment decline is set to fade."

The economy expanded at an annual pace of 3.3% in the year to June, in part thanks to a surge in home building that has some way to run yet.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out earlier showed approvals to build new homes slipped only 1.8% in August.

Analysts had looked for a drop of around 7% as payback for a 12% jump in July.