RBNZ To Hold Rates Until Q3 2019, New Zealand Dollar Sinks

New Zealand dollar lost ground versus most of its peers on Thursday after its central bank held interest rates at a record low for a fifth consecutive time and announced that the rate might not be hiked in the next two years due to weak inflation.

The kiwi dropped more than 0.4 percent against its American counterpart to trade at $0.7308 – the lowest level since July 18th. In a statement after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) having kept the official cash rate at 1.75 percent, Governor Graeme Wheeler said that “Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period”.

New Zealand’s inflation slowed to 1.7 percent in the June quarter after a rise of 2.2 percent in the three-month period to March which marked the first time in five years that inflation returned to the central bank 2 percent goal. For the first quarter of 2018, RBNZ forecast the rate would decline to 0.7 percent – lower than it previously expected.

Meanwhile, a strong New Zealand dollar continues to put pressure on import prices and suppresses inflation. Governor Graeme Wheeler claimed that “A lower New Zealand dollar is needed to increase tradables inflation and help deliver more balanced growth,” given the fact that the local dollar has added 6 percent so far this year.

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