29 Jan 2009

Big cut in OCR expected

8:46 am on 29 January 2009

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to heavily to cut the Official Cash Rate on Thursday.

Governor Alan Bollard will issue the latest rate at 9am.

Most economists expect the cut will be at least 1 percentage point, which will take the OCR to 4% - the lowest since its introduction in 1999 at 4.5%.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says there's growing speculation the Reserve Bank could choose to cut even further, perhaps to 3.5%.

The last reduction by the bank was on 4 December when the OCR was cut from 6.5% to 5%.

The cuts began on 24 July when the bank lowered the rate from 8.25% to 8%.

New Zealand is now in recession, which began nine months ago. Inflation is 3.4%.