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Economists remain divided on how early the first rate cut will come

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner continues to expect no official cash rate (OCR) cuts this year but other economists, including BNZ's Doug Steel and Kiwibank's Jarrod Kerr and ASB's Mark Smith, expect one cut late this year.

Thursday, April 11th 2024, 6:00AM

by Jenny Ruth

The Reserve Bank held its OCR steady at 5.5% as just about every economist had expected it would.

ANZ described the RBNZ's statement as “playing with a straight bat,” and that the economy had continued to evolve broadly as had been expected in the February monetary policy statement.

Such a comment “isn't suggestive of any hurry to change stance, and against the backdrop of a market – particularly offshore participants – that saw the potential for a further dovish tilt, we may see mild upside pressure on short-end rates and the NZ dollar over coming days,” Zollner said.

She expects inflation will fall a little more slowly than RBNZ is expecting and RBNZ forecast in February that the first OCR cut wouldn't come before about mid-2025.

BNZ's Steel said his team hadn't seen anything in the balance of data since February to cause any material change to RBNZ's stance.

RBNZ's very short statement did note some “near-term pressures” which Steel read as an acknowledgement that the March quarter Consumers Price Index may be a little stronger than the 0.4% RBNZ has forecast.

BNZ is expecting a 0.8% quarterly increase for an annual read of 4.2%.

“Overall, there was nothing in today's [Wednesday's] missive from the central bank to change our broad view of the world,” Steel said.

“We maintain our forecast that the RBNZ is on hold for the time being and we continue to expect the first rate cut later this year,” he said.

ASB's Smith said the key takeout from the review is that there's “a high threshold” for any future OCR moves.

“With inflation still well above target and with inherent uncertainty over the inflation outlook, they [RBNZ] wisely chose to play with a straight bat,” Smith said.

ASB is expecting the first OCR cut in November but thinks monetary policy settings will still remain on the restrictive side of neutral for a year or so beyond that.

Tags: OCR

« BREAKING: OCR 5.50% - Official Cash Rate remains unchangedMortgage Lab buys new trail book »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.14 6.75 6.39
ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.14 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.14 6.75 6.39
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.14 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.74 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 6.79 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 6.99 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.89 6.55 6.35
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.69 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.79 7.39 7.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 7.99 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 6.99 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.75 7.35 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.09 7.59 7.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.09 8.59 8.29
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.74 7.29 6.59
SBS Bank Special - 7.14 6.69 5.99
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.14 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 7.79 7.55 7.45
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 6.99 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - 6.55 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.89 7.35 7.25
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.29 6.75 6.65
Median 8.64 7.21 7.29 6.65

Last updated: 20 May 2024 10:01am

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