Thursday, January 26, 2012

RBNZ Holds OCR at 2.50%, Signals No Change

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept the Official Cash Rate (OCR) on hold at 2.50%, noting the impact of global developments.  The Bank Said: "In the domestic economy we continue to see modest growth. Over recent months there have been signs of a limited recovery in household spending and the housing market. Further ahead, repairs and reconstruction in Canterbury will also provide a significant boost for an extended period, though there may be further delays resulting from the aftershocks. Given ongoing uncertainty around global conditions and the moderate pace of domestic demand, it remains prudent to keep the OCR on hold at 2.5 percent"

Previously the Bank also held the OCR unchanged at 2.50%, while the Bank cut the rate by 50 basis points in March this year, following the Canterbury earthquake.  New Zealand reported consumer price inflation of 1.8% in Q4 2011, down from 4.6% in Q3, compared to 5.3% in Q2, 4.5% in Q1, and 4.0% in Q4 of 2010, and within the official inflation target of 1-3%.  

The New Zealand economy grew 0.8% q/q in Q3 (0.1% in Q2, 0.9% in Q1), placing it up 1.9% (1.1% in Q2, 1.4% in Q1) on an annual basis.  The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is up about 6% against the US dollar over the past year, having touched all new highs close to 0.88 in July/August last year, meanwhile the NZDUSD last traded around 0.82.


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