Tuesday, 17 July 2012 02:01
WELLINGTON: New Zealand's annual consumer inflation is expected to have slowed to the lowest level in more than 12 years in the June quarter, leaving the central bank scope to remain on the sidelines before changing its record low interest rates.
A Reuters poll of 16 economists put the consumer price index at 0.5 percent in June, similar to the March quarter, pulling the annual rate down to 1.1 percent, the lowest since the December 1999 quarter.
That would sit comfortably at the lower end of the 1-3 percent target band of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), which has also forecast the same numbers.
"(This) leaves little pressure on the RBNZ to alter its policy stance in the near term," said Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin.
The RBNZ has held its official cash rate at a record low 2.5 percent for more than a year because of restrained domestic demand, tame inflation, ...