New Zealand May Start Raising Benchmark Interest Rate in June


New Zealand’s central bank said it could raise its benchmark interest rate from a record low as early as June as improving global demand buoys exports and underpins an economic recovery.

RBNZ Statement

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said: The New Zealand economy is recovering broadly as expected and growth is predicted to pick up further through 2010.

Trading partner activity has recovered more quickly than we expected. Growth in Asia has been particularly strong. Consistent with this, export commodity prices have increased close to their 2008 peak. At the same time, risks to the global outlook remain elevated.

Notwithstanding the impact of stronger than expected export earnings, New Zealand households remain cautious, with the housing market and household credit growth subdued. Similarly, business spending is weak and firms continue to reduce debt.

On balance, we continue to expect the New Zealand economy to recover in line with or slightly faster than our March Statement projection. Annual CPI inflation, which has been close to 2 percent for the past year, is expected to track within the target range over the medium term.

As previously indicated, we expect to begin removing policy stimulus over the coming months, provided the economy continues to evolve as projected.
The increased wedge between the OCR and lending rates, as well as a steeply positive-sloped interest rate curve, is expected to make OCR increases more effective than in the past. Accordingly, these factors should reduce the extent to which the OCR will need to be increased relative to previous cycles.”


TradingEconomics.com, RBNZ
4/28/2010 6:23:37 PM