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New Zealand cuts rate to record low of 1.5 percent
2019/5/8 15:20:25 Source:Xinhua

WELLINGTON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut official cash rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.5 percent on Wednesday.
The 1.5 percent official cash rate is now the lowest since it was introduced in 1999. Adrian Orr, Governor of Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced the decision Wednesday afternoon after the New Zealand dollar slumped.
The official cash rate is believed to influence other domestic interest rates on loans and savings. Within minutes both Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Kiwibank announced plans to lower mortgage and deposit rates in response to the news.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank said, "global economic growth has slowed since mid-2018, easing demand for New Zealand's goods and services. A key downside risk relating to the growth projections was a larger than anticipated slowdown in global economic growth, particularly in China and Australia, New Zealand's largest trading partners."
Meanwhile, "a slowed domestic growth from the second half of 2018 has tempered household spending. And ongoing low business sentiment, tighter profit margins and competition for resources have all contributed to restrained investment," said the Reserve Bank.
Employment is near its maximum sustainable level. However, the outlook for employment growth is more subdued and capacity pressure is expected to ease slightly in 2019. Consequently, inflationary pressure is projected to rise only slowly, said the Reserve Bank in the Wednesday statement.

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