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What the Reserve Bank said about interest rates

The Reserve Bank has kept its word and increased the official cash rate. It has also indicated there will be a pause in this tightening cycle. Here is what governor Graeme Wheeler said.

Thursday, July 24th 2014, 9:02AM 4 Comments

The Reserve Bank today increased the Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 3.5%.

New Zealand’s economy is expected to grow at an annual pace of 3.7% over 2014. Global financial conditions remain very accommodative and are reflected in low interest rates, narrow risk spreads, and low financial market volatility. Economic growth among New Zealand’s trading partners has eased slightly in the first half of 2014, but this appears to be due to temporary factors.

Construction, particularly in Canterbury, is growing strongly. At the same time, strong net immigration is adding to housing and household demand, although house price inflation has moderated further since the June Statement.

Over recent months, export prices for dairy and timber have fallen, and these will reduce primary sector incomes over the coming year. With the exchange rate yet to adjust to weakening commodity prices, the level of the New Zealand dollar is unjustified and unsustainable and there is potential for a significant fall.

Inflation remains moderate, but strong growth in output has been absorbing spare capacity. This is expected to add to non-tradables inflation. Wage inflation is subdued, reflecting recent low inflation outcomes, increased labour force participation, and strong net immigration.

It is important that inflation expectations remain contained. Today’s move will help keep future average inflation near the 2% target mid-point and ensure that the economic expansion can be sustained. Encouragingly, the economy appears to be adjusting to the monetary policy tightening that has taken place since the start of the year. It is prudent that there now be a period of assessment before interest rates adjust further towards a more-neutral level.

The speed and extent to which the OCR will need to rise will depend on the assessment of the impact of the tightening in monetary policy to date, and the implications of future economic and financial data for inflationary pressures.

« [MRadio] OCR preview and more on cash contributionsInterest rates could fall during the OCR pause »

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Comments from our readers

On 24 July 2014 at 12:11 pm Michael Donovan said:
If Auckland and Canterbury (mainly auckland as it is predominantly fueld by immigrant demand?), then surely an independent structure of mortgage rates could be applied to those regions pro rata to the balance of volume effect they produce?
That saves disadvantaging other regions that do not enjoy/suffer from the effects of such huge urban demands?

Secondly, if interest rates in NZ are raised higher, then the overseas demand equation inevitably places an increasing demand on our dollar, which has the resulting effect of keeping our dollar exchange rate higher..!
Lastly, if the powers above only realised the foolishness in choosing to "sell" rather than 99 year lease our NZ land to overseas buyers, then there would be an adjustment to the worldwide attitudes that foreigners have toward land purchasing abilities here in NZ.
after all, NZ'ers are not able to purchase land in China for example, however, they are willing to lease land to foreigners?
there is much more profit over time from leasing versus selling any asset!
Surely it is better as an image for us NZ'ers to be considered 'sensible'...versus 'dumb?'
After all, it is also election year so vote accordingly? Michael Donovan
On 24 July 2014 at 1:31 pm Richard Peakman said:
I am always confused about how economists view the world and definitely confused about what the motivation of New Zealand’s Reserve Banks leaders is.
To me they seem to simply want to keep NZ as it was 30 years ago.
They continually say things like in this report “the level of the NZ dollar is unjustified and unsustainable" thereby causing negativity among people like me. If I hear that from the experts, what am I to do? But I was thinking, how can it be unjustified if that's what someone is prepared to pay for it? I agree that it may not be sustainable but that's the universe isn't it?
Bottom line is that our economists seem to enjoy “stopping the train” just before it gets into top gear. Like for example the property market. Their idea is to penalise the entire population of NZ because Chinese buyers are paying huge prices for homes in Auckland. But again I ask - if someone is prepared to pay that much then why try to fight it - that's the system we live in - a capitalist society and probably the Chinese buy because it gives them a better foothold here, because they own a bit of the country.
The better action to take could be to say to the Chinese that just a couple of hours flight away is the capital city of Wellington which is way more relaxed and family oriented and they don't have a casino ... yet. Down South is some of the best country on god’s green earth. Let us dictate where we want immigrants to live. Impose some restrictions on immigrants rather than cause issues for those people who live here already and who have been here forever.
So, why not impose restrictions on immigrants? If they want to come and live in New Zealand - there are many cities - not just Auckland!
Another message for not only the reserve bank but also the big companies is that "paying low wages is not capitalism" - paying 3rd world countries to do the treasured work that we require here is not either so start to impose restrictions on companies who do not share equitably the profits they make. Open doors to New Zealanders getting a fair days pay, workers here are simply dictated to and end up accepting what the company offers. Last time I looked the banks even in a so called recession made billions of profit as did Fonterra make a huge profit while dumping milk at sea. I work hard, it isn’t easy but I don't have time to be an economist as well so that's why you guys are there.
However – If you need me – I could be available.
On 25 July 2014 at 9:59 am Richard said:
Sadly, Wheeler has no concept of cause and effect. We will now be in worse shape and the dollar will rise. Is there no commonsense in the Reserve Bank. Needs disbanding.
On 4 August 2014 at 2:39 pm AFA Muggins said:
I think that the rort of central banking is starting to dawn on people.
The policy of inflating and deflating periodically has done nothing to support value, and has actually done the opposite when it comes to purchasing power. Central Banks are supposed to provide stability in the financial system.
The RBNZ on its own website has an inflation calculator showing that since the beginning of 1970, The NZ dollar has lost 93.5% of its purchasing power. That is a lot of erosion, which is replaced with an unsustainable mountain of debt that can never be paid off.
Maybe pegging currency to something of value such as gold slows growth and is seen as an antiquated idea, but the lifestyle we buy now is never able to be paid for and ultimately the whole house of cards is going to collapse. Slow sustainable growth is probably a preferable outcome.
Debt will be the undoing of us all, and we have the banking system to thank for that, with the roots of the current problem buried long ago.

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 3.55 3.89 3.99
AIA Special - 3.05 3.39 3.69
ANZ 4.44 3.55 3.85 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.05 3.35 3.99
ASB Bank 4.45 3.55 3.89 3.99
ASB Bank Special - 3.05 3.39 3.69
Bluestone 4.44 4.44 4.29 4.34
BNZ - Classic - 3.09 3.35 3.69
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.75 4.10 4.55
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 3.15 3.15 3.19
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 4.35 4.45 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.95 3.09 3.50
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 3.94 4.08 4.39
Kiwibank 4.40 3.84 4.14 4.40
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 4.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.09 3.39 3.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 ▼4.09 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.45 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 4.54 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.09 3.39 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 3.25 3.45 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.75 3.85 4.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Bank 5.34 3.89 4.15 4.49
TSB Special 4.54 3.09 3.35 3.69
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.95 3.99 -
Westpac 4.59 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.09 3.39 3.69
Median 4.60 3.65 3.89 3.99

Last updated: 31 March 2020 8:55am

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