By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s central bank has boosted its benchmark interest rate for a seventh consecutive month to a nine-year high of 2.85%. The Reserve Bank of Australia has decided on a second consecutive raise of a quarter percentage point in the cash rate at its latest monthly board meeting Tuesday. That’s after four consecutive half-percentage-point hikes. Reserve Bank Gov. Philip Lowe said in a statement “inflation in Australia is too high” and his board “expects to increase interest rates further over the period ahead.” He says the bank “remains resolute in its determination to return inflation” to a target band of 2% to 3% by raising the cost of money.