The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75 percent.
Global economic growth has continued to improve in recent quarters. However, inflation and wage outcomes remain subdued across the advanced economies and challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity. Bond yields are low, credit spreads have narrowed and equity prices are near record levels. Monetary policy is expected to remain stimulatory in the advanced economies, but less so going forward.
The trade-weighted exchange rate has eased slightly since the August Statement. A lower New Zealand dollar would help to increase tradables inflation and deliver more balanced growth.
GDP in the June quarter grew in line with expectations, following relative weakness in the previous two quarters. While exports recovered, construction was weaker than expected. Growth is projected to maintain its current pace going forward, supported by accommodative monetary policy, population growth, elevated terms of trade, and fiscal stimulus.
House price inflation continues to moderate due to loan-to-value ratio restrictions, affordability constraints, and a tightening in credit conditions. This moderation is expected to continue, although there remains a risk of resurgence in prices given population growth and resource constraints in the construction sector.
Annual CPI inflation eased in the June quarter, but remains within the target range. Headline inflation is likely to decline in coming quarters, reflecting volatility in tradables inflation. Non-tradables inflation remains moderate but is expected to increase gradually as capacity pressure increases, bringing headline inflation to the midpoint of the target range over the medium term. Longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at around two percent.
Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain and policy may need to adjust accordingly.
Note: Following the departure of Graeme Wheeler, the Reserve Bank’s policy making Governing Committee now comprises: Acting Governor Grant Spencer, Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand, and Assistant Governor John McDermott.