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New Zealand further reduces interest rates
[WELLINGTON] New Zealand snipped a further 0.25 percentage points off interest rates on Thursday, the third reduction this year, and with the central bank suggesting further easing was likely in coming months.
The cut in the official cash rate (OCR) to 2.25 percent was widely expected following similar reductions in June and July.
"Domestically, the economy is adjusting to the sharp decline in export prices, and the consequent fall in the exchange rate," bank governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement.
"Several factors continue to support growth, including robust tourism, strong net immigration, the large pipeline of construction activity in Auckland and other regions, and, importantly, the lower interest rates and the depreciation of the New Zealand dollar."
Mr Wheeler said further depreciation was appropriate given the sharpness of the decline in New Zealand's export commodity prices.
The New Zealand economy is now growing at an annual rate of around 2.0 per cent.
Wheeler said activity had slowed due to the levelling off of construction in the multi-billion dollar rebuild in Christchurch after the South Island city's devastating 2011 earthquakes.
"A reduction in the OCR is warranted by the softening in the economy and the need to keep future average CPI inflation near the 2.0 per cent target midpoint," the bank governor said.
"At this stage, some further easing in the OCR seems likely. This will depend on the emerging flow of economic data."