Official Cash Rate reduced to 3.0 percent

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Ngai Tahu Property has joined forces with the NZ Super Fund and New Ground Capital to invest in a $130 million housing project in Auckland.

Source:Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler announced this morning that the Reserve Bank has reduced the Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 3.0 percent.

Graeme Wheeler said the global economic growth remains moderate, with only a gradual pickup in activity forecast.  Recent developments in China and Europe led to heightened uncertainty and increased financial market volatility. Particular uncertainty remains around the impact of the expected tightening in US monetary policy. 

“New Zealand’s economy is currently growing at an annual rate of around 2.5 percent, supported by low interest rates, construction activity, and high net immigration. However, the growth outlook is now softer than at the time of the June Statement. Rebuild activity in Canterbury appears to have peaked, and the world price for New Zealand’s dairy exports has fallen sharply.

“Headline inflation is currently below the Bank’s 1 to 3 percent target range, due largely to previous strength in the New Zealand dollar and a large decline in world oil prices. Annual CPI inflation is expected to be close to the midpoint of the range in early 2016, due to recent exchange rate depreciation and as the decline in oil prices drops out of the annual figure. A key uncertainty is how quickly the exchange rate pass-through will occur.

“House prices in Auckland continue to increase rapidly, but, outside Auckland, house price inflation generally remains low.  Increased building activity is underway in the Auckland region, but it will take some time for the imbalances in the housing market to be corrected.

“The New Zealand dollar has declined significantly since April and, along with lower interest rates, has led to an easing in monetary conditions. While the currency depreciation will provide support to the export and import competing sectors, further depreciation is necessary given the weakness in export commodity prices,” Graeme Wheeler said.

He added that a reduction in the OCR is warranted by the softening in the economic outlook and low inflation. At this point, some further easing seems likely. 

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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