New Zealand keeps interest rates at record low | 2016-09-23 |

New Zealand keeps interest rates at record low

23 September, 2016 12:00 AM printer

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s central bank left interest rates at a record low of 2.0 percent Thursday but warned more cuts were likely.
The decision was widely expected after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) trimmed its base rate by 0.25 points in August, reports AFP.
“Monetary policy will continue to be accommodative,” governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement.
“Our current projections and assumptions indicate that further policy easing will be required to ensure that future inflation settles near the middle of the target range.”
Annual inflation was 0.4 percent in the second quarter and has stubbornly remained below the central bank’s 1.0-3.0 percent target for seven quarters.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar has remained high, placing pressure on the export sector, despite repeated attempts by the central bank to talk it down.
“A decline in the exchange rate is needed,” Wheeler reiterated in his statement.
However, the bank is reluctant to cut rates too aggressively in case it further fuels a house price boom centred on Auckland, the nation’s largest city.
“House price inflation remains excessive, posing concerns for financial stability,” Wheeler said.