Reserve Bank leaves Official Cash Rate unchanged at one per cent

14 Février, 2020, 10:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr

Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr.

The repricing of rate expectations has inevitably triggered a jump in the New Zealand dollar, which had been among the major victims of the virus-related risk-off environment.

The NZ Reserve Bank has again left its key cash rate unchanged on 1.0% while again reserving the right to change rates, especially if the impact of China's coronavirus crisis proves to be bigger than now expected.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand released a statement about the decision to leave the OCR unchanged.

The Official Cash Rate was kept steady at 1.0 percent, as expected.

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"This is a highly fluid situation and estimated impacts are extremely uncertain", said Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand in Auckland.

Previewing the event, "we expect the RBNZ to retain an easing bias at its Monetary Policy Statement on Wednesday, although it will probably be described as a conditional one, dependent on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic", said Westpac analysts.

"The Committee discussed the reasons for an expected pick-up in growth over 2020, including monetary and fiscal stimulus and the high terms of trade". The outlook for government investment is stronger following the Government's announcements in December.

The odds of a rate cut later this year have risen to more than 50% from about 40% at the start of 2020, swaps data show. There were also indications household spending growth will increase, the bank said. The widespread travel ban may make it worse for New Zealand's economic growth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commented. House-price growth is gathering pace, business confidence is beginning to recover from a slump and unemployment unexpectedly fell to 4%, matching a decade-low, amid signs of wage pressures.

'Most of the economic impact of coronavirus will be felt in the first quarter, and China's recovery will be firmly in place by the third quarter of this year'.

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