17 Jan 2013

Rate cuts by RBA tipped to boost NZ trade

8:12 am on 17 January 2013

Likely interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia will help to boost New Zealand's trade with Australia, as the lucky country faces headwinds this year.

AMP New Zealand chief economist Bevan Graham said a much smaller than expected rise in Australian consumer confidence increases the likelihood that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates to stimulate the economy.

Australia is the biggest consumer of New Zealand products, buying nearly a quarter of all exports.

Mr Graham says further rate cuts, combined with a favourable New Zealand - Australian dollar exchange rate, will likely result in New Zealand selling more to Australia this year.

The RBA lowered the official cash rate from 3.25% to 3% on 4 December.