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Reserve Bank cuts Official Cash Rate to record low 1.5 per cent

Reserve Bank cuts Official Cash Rate to record low 1.5 per cent

The Reserve Bank has cut the Offical Cash Rate to a record low 1.5 per cent and signaled further cuts will follow.

The RBNZ cut the rate from 1.75 per cent at 2pm. The kiwi dollar dropped half a cent on the news to US65.55c

“The Monetary Policy Committee decided a lower OCR is necessary to support the outlook for employment and inflation consistent with its policy remit,” the newly minted committee – which includes three external members – said in the statement.

Changes to the central bank’s forecasts in the latest monetary policy statement now show a chance for another cut by March. The OCR track goes from 1.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent in March 2020. The bank’s prior forecast in February had indicated the first move wasn’t anticipated until the first half of 2021, and that that move would have been up.

In March, however, governor Adrian Orr surprised markets when he said that, given the weaker global economic outlook and reduced momentum in domestic spending, the more likely direction of the next official cash rate move was down.