RBNZ Decides On Interest Rates While Its Mandate Is Under Question
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) interest rate decision will be one of the major financial events this week. The RBNZ was one of the first major central banks in the world to tighten its monetary policy as well as one of the first to pause raising borrowing costs.
The RBNZ’s mandate is under scrutiny as the new government expressed its intention to “amend the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 to remove the dual mandate on inflation and employment, to focus monetary policy only on price stability,” according to a Reuters report.
In other news, oil prices rose slightly this morning as traders believe that OPEC+ could deepen and extend output cuts to withstand subdued demand. It should be noted that OPEC+ rescheduled its meeting for November 30th as, according to Reuters, there seems to have been a disagreement over oil production targets for African producers.
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New Zealand Interest Rate Decision
On Wednesday morning, the RBNZ’s governing board will convene to decide on interest rates. The majority of economists expect New Zealand’s central bank to keep borrowing costs on hold as the latest inflation and other surveys could justify this course of action.
Reports released in previous months by the RBNZ indicate that the board expects headline inflation to fall within the target range during the second half of 2024.
Analysts at ASB Bank wrote in a report published on November 27th: “We don't expect significant changes in the RBNZ's messaging. However, the RBNZ is likely to be a little more relaxed that it has done enough tightening, based on the flow of news since October that includes softer than expected inflation data.”
The New Zealand dollar was the third best performing currency among its G10 counterparts in the last month. Currency analysts suggest that the Kiwi’s value may be affected depending on the RBNZ’s post-meeting statement that could reveal whether the bank is in for another rate hike in 2024 or would follow a lower-rates strategy.
Australia October CPI Inflation Report
A bit earlier on Wednesday morning, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will publish data regarding the country’s CPI inflation rate recorded in October. Economists suggest that headline inflation could fall to 5.5% in October, on an annualised basis, slightly lower than September’s reading.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Michele Bullock told Bloomberg reporters that “a more substantial monetary policy tightening is the right response to inflation that results from aggregate demand exceeding the economy’s potential to meet that demand.”
BoE’s Governor: Lowering Inflation Needs Hard Work
Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey told media reporters that bringing inflation down to the target range of 2% set by the BoE would need “hard work.” Bailey mentioned that the current inflation drop could be attributed to the unwinding of the rise in energy prices that was recorded last year.
“The rest of it has to be done by policy and monetary policy. And policy is operating in what I call a restrictive way at the moment - it is restricting the economy. The second half, from there to two, is hard work and obviously we don't want to see any more damage," the BoE’s head said.
Inflation could return to 2% by the end of 2025 with some analysts suggesting that the first rate cut could occur in September 2024. Last week, Andrew Bailey told the Treasury Committee that it would be too soon to discuss any rate cuts that could jeopardise the BoE’s current monetary policy results.
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