RBNZ Leaves Rates Unchanged
The Reserve Bank of NZ has followed its Australian counterpart and left its key interest rate steady as both economies face a similar outlook of weaker inflation, low wages, continuing activity in housing and a currency under pressure.
In its usual post meeting statement this morning Governor Graeme Wheeler made it clear low rates were here to stay for some time saying:
"Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain and policy may need to adjust accordingly,” he said.
Like the RBA last week the RBNZ noted the improved global outlook, but pointed to the lacklustre domestic outlook
"Global economic growth has become more broad-based in recent quarters. However, inflation and wage outcomes remain subdued across the advanced economies, and challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity. Bond yields are low, credit spreads have narrowed and equity prices are at record levels.
"Monetary policy is expected to remain stimulatory in the advanced economies, but less so going forward.
“The trade-weighted exchange rate has increased since the May Statement, partly in response to a weaker US dollar. A lower New Zealand dollar is needed to increase tradables inflation and help deliver more balanced growth.
"GDP in the March quarter was lower than expected, adding to the softening in growth observed at the end of 2016. Growth is expected to improve going forward, supported by accommodative monetary policy, strong population growth, an elevated terms of trade, and the fiscal stimulus outlined in Budget 2017.”
The one areas of difference was house prices where in Australia there are signs they are not continuing to moderate in Sydney and Melbourne especially. IN NZ, it is a different story.
Mr Wheeler said in his statement this morning:
"House price inflation continues to moderate due to loan-to-value ratio restrictions, affordability constraints, and a tightening in credit conditions.This moderation is expected to persist, although there remains a risk of resurgence in prices given continued strong population growth and resource constraints in the construction sector.
“Annual CPI inflation eased in the June quarter, but remains within the target range. Headline inflation is likely to decline in coming quarters as the effects of higher fuel and food prices dissipate. The outlook for tradables inflation remains weak.
"Non-tradables inflation remains moderate but is expected to increase gradually as capacity pressure increases, bringing headline inflation to the midpoint of the target range over the medium term. Longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at around 2 percent.”
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.