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WELLINGTON, March 23 New Zealand's central bank
stuck firmly to its stance of keeping interest rates at a record
low of 1.75 percent at its meeting to set the official cash rate
on Thursday and reiterated that it would stay on hold for a
"considerable" period of time.
"Numerous uncertainties remain, particularly in respect of
the international outlook and monetary policy may need to adjust
accordingly," Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Graeme
Wheeler said in a statement accompanying the decision.
All 32 economists polled by Reuters had expected no change
to the bank's official cash rate (OCR), which was lowered by 25
basis points to the current record low in November. Many are
forecasting that rates will stay stable throughout
The New Zealand dollar barely moved after the
announcement, edging down slightly to $0.7049 from $0.7059.
Just last month the central bank indicated that rates could
remain unchanged for as long as two years, with external rather
than domestic factors determining the outlook.
The RBNZ still considered the domestic economy resilient
despite surprisingly soft gross domestic product growth last
quarter, citing temporary factors.
However, global volatility and Donald Trump's protectionist
"America First" platform have been at the top of the list of
risks-to-watch for the small, open trading economy, according to
"As expected, again a clear intention to be as neutral as
possible," said Philip Borkin, senior economist at ANZ Bank.
"They've acknowledged some of the recent data surprises on
GDP...but they've discounted those changes and haven't altered
their overall view," he added.
The central bank will make its next rates decision on May
For the text of the statement double click on
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Charlotte Greenfield; Editing
by Toby Chopra)