19 Apr 2011

Higher mortgage rates seen as unlikely

9:14 am on 19 April 2011

Higher mortgage rates are unlikely despite another big increase in the cost of living.

Inflation reached 4.5% in March, breaking the Reserve Bank's target range of 1% - 3% for the second consecutive quarter.

Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says it is expected to do so again in the current quarter.

But economists say that's unlikely to worry the bank, which lowered the Official Cash Rate from 3% to 2.5% on 10 March.

Excluding one-off increases such as GST and excise taxes, and fuel, inflation remains at a low ebb.

Most economists expect the cash rate, which dictates floating mortgage rates, to stay at a record low until the final quarter of this year, or the first quarter of 2012.