RBNZ: A touch more optimistic.
Trans-Tasman agreement lifts the mood
The RBNZ meeting was pretty uneventful.
The interest rate was kept at 0.25% and the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP, $100 billion by June 2022) and Funding for Lending Programme (FLP) was kept unchanged. Here is a brief rundown of the meeting which was essentially on hold, with a tiny hint of optimism.
The RBNZ recognised the following positive factors for New Zealand
- Global growth outlook has improved with commitment to monetary and fiscal stimulus as well as the progression of vaccination programmes.
- The planned trans-Tasman travel arrangements should support income and employment in the tourism sector
- Reduced Gov't bond issuance is placing less upward pressure on New Zealand bonds and provides less scope for LSAP purchases.
- The changes in LSAP levels (reductions) were not seen as a change in monetary policy, but more to do with market functioning.
- New Zealand's commodity export prices are benefiting from strong global demand
- Risks remain
- Any inflation higher is likely to be temporary
- Short term data highly variable due to impact from COVID-19
- Uneven global recovery
- Trans-Tasman travel is two way, so some spending will be abroad. Will it be equalled by those visiting New Zealand?
- Sometime is expected before the targets of maximum employment and inflation above 2% is met.
- Is prepared to use negative inflation if necessary. (however, this is unlikely at this stage, so very theoretical).
- Name change. The RBNZ are changing the phrase 'OCR' (Official Cash Rate) to MPR (Monetary Policy Review). See here. This is to reflect that the RBNZ are using the LSAP and FLP programmes alongside the interest rate.
- There was quite a few comments regarding housing. Part of the remit was given by the New Zealand Finance Minister regarding the central banks influence on house prices. There were a couple of paragraphs in the statement where the RBNZ seemed to be explain the pro and cons of their policy on housing markets. It seemed problematic to me and I don't think the RBNZ will want this happening again