OCR remains unchanged

Corporate workers having a meeting in an office

It looks like our prediction wasn’t on the money. Yesterday the RBNZ announced that the Official Cash Rate would remain unchanged, as they're comfortable with the economic progress.

Here's a statement made by the Governor, Adrian Orr on the decision:

"The Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at one percent. Employment remains around its maximum sustainable level while inflation remains below the two percent target mid-point but within our target range.

Economic developments since the August Statement do not warrant a change to the already stimulatory monetary setting at this time. Economic growth continued to slow in mid-2019 reflecting weak business investment and soft household spending. We expect economic growth to remain subdued over the remainder of the calendar year. We will continue to monitor economic developments and remain prepared to act as required.

Trading-partner growth has also slowed. Growth in global trade and manufacturing is weak and uncertainty remains high, dampening global business investment. However, New Zealand's export commodity prices have been robust, underpinning a positive terms of trade. The lower New Zealand dollar exchange rate this year is also providing a useful additional offset to the weaker global economic environment.

Domestic economic activity is expected to increase during 2020 supported by low interest rates, higher wage growth, and increased government spending and investment. The low level of the OCR has flowed through to lower lending rates more generally, which support spending and investment. Rising capacity pressures are projected to promote a pick-up in business investment.

Interest rates will need to remain at low levels for a prolonged period to ensure inflation reaches the mid-point of our target range and employment remains around its maximum sustainable level. We are committed to achieving our inflation and employment objectives. We will add further monetary stimulus if needed."

The full Monetary Policy Statement is on the RBNZ website.

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