Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Reserve Bank Chops OCR Interest Rate by Full 1 Percent
Reserve Bank Governor, Alan Bollard, has chopped the Official Cash Rate by a full one percent to 6.5 percent in his October review of monetary conditions. It was the single largest cut in the rate since the OCR was introduced in 1999. The OCR is the rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to or borrows from the NZ banking system.
With the increasing impact of the global economic crisis showing up in New Zealand's domestic recession in the form of weakening export demand, the Reserve Bank's hand was forced into a large cut. Market sentiment is that a further 0.75 percent can be expected in the next few months.
Domestically, the weakening of the housing market, tightening credit, a decline in Fonterra's payout to dairy farmers next year, and increasing unemployment are combining to shift the Reserve Bank's concern to offsetting weakening demand from inflation control as price increases are moderating.