New Zealand central bank holds interest rates

New Zealand central bank holds interest rates

© Reuters.  New Zealand central bank holds interest rates © Reuters. New Zealand central bank holds interest rates

WELLINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) on Thursday held interest rates at a record low of 1.75 percent, as expected, and said monetary policy would remain accommodative for a considerable period.

All 15 analysts polled by Reuters expected rates to remain steady for the rest of the year while some saw a potential hike in the first half of 2019.

“Over the medium term, CPI inflation is forecast to trend upwards towards the midpoint of the target range. Longer-term inflation expectations are well anchored at 2 percent,” said a statement accompanying the rates decision, Acting Governor Grant Spencer’s last before he hands over to pension fund chief Adrian Orr on March 27.

Orr’s mandate is expected to include a goal on employment, in addition to targeting inflation in a 1-3 percent range.

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest since early February at $0.7154 before rebounding.

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