New Zealand Set to Lift Rates, Signal More Aggressive Tightening

New Zealand’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates for a second straight month and signal a more aggressive tightening cycle to contain inflation amid a labor shortage, Bloomberg News reported. The Reserve Bank will lift the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% on Wednesday in Wellington, according to 21 of 23 surveyed economists. Two predict a hike to 1% and investors see a risk the RBNZ will opt for a 50 basis-point increase, but the bank could instead signal faster tightening ahead. “It’s entirely reasonable that the market is asking whether the RBNZ might not want to get a move on and and deliver a 50-point hike,” said Sharon Zollner, chief New Zealand economist at ANZ Bank. However, it could achieve a similar impact by significantly raising its cash-rate forecasts, she said. Read more.
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