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New Zealand leaves interest rates at record low

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New Zealand's central bank left interest rates at a record low of 2.25 per cent on Thursday but warned it will consider lowering them if inflation remains below target.

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand's central bank left interest rates at a record low of 2.25 per cent on Thursday but warned it will consider lowering them if inflation remains below target.

In a widely expected decision, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand opted to wait and assess the impact of a shock 0.25 percentage point cut last month.

"Further policy easing may be required to ensure that future average inflation settles near the middle of the target range," governor Graeme Wheeler said.

Inflation for the year to March 31 was 0.4 per cent, data released this month showed, missing the central bank's 1.0-3.0 per cent target for the sixth quarter in a row.

"We expect inflation to strengthen as the effects of low oil prices drop out and as capacity pressures gradually build - monetary policy will continue to be accommodative," Mr Wheeler said.

Economists expect at least one more interest cut this year but are divided over when it will occur.

AFP