25 Oct 2012

RBNZ tipped to leave rates unchanged

7:29 am on 25 October 2012

A group of economists, academics and business lobbyists are expecting the Reserve Bank will leave interest rates on hold at 2.5% on Thursday.

As he prepares to announce his first Official Cash Rate, recently-appointed governor Graeme Wheeler has been considering New Zealand's position against a backdrop of a cooling domestic and international economy.

The key interest rate has been at 2.5% since 10 March 2011.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's shadow board notes slowing growth and easing inflation is strengthening a case for cutting.

All but one of the participants indicate rates won't be cut below 2%.

But the institute's principal economist, Shamubeel Eaqub, has given the greatest weighting to rates being halved, and says the central bank could afford to cut interest rates to lows of 0.75%.

Deutsche Bank chief economist Darren Gibbs says a cut can't be ruled out amid weakening activity and lower inflation.