NZealand leaves interest rates at record low

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WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s central bank left its base rate at a record low of 1.75 percent Thursday and said it was set to remain there long term if inflation remains on target.

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The decision was widely anticipated by the markets, which do not expect the official cash rate (OCR) to move until mid-2018 at the earliest amid a positive economic outlook.

“Longer-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored at around 2.0 percent,” central bank governor Graeme Wheeler said.

“Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period.”

Inflation was 1.3 percent in the final quarter of 2016, the first time in two years it had reached the bank’s 1.0-3.0 percent target band.

Wheeler shrugged off lower-than-expected economic growth of 0.4 percent over the same quarter, saying it was partly due to temporary factors.

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