News

Another 50 point OCR jump forecast

There is near universal expectation that the base interest rate will go up by another 50 points on Wednesday.

Monday, May 23rd 2022

That would push the Official Cash Rate (OCR) up from its current 1.5% to 2.0%.

There was an earlier 50 point rise in April.

Usually, the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) alters the base rate by 25 points, but this appears to have been abandoned for now.

The RBNZ is still supposed to hold inflation to 3% but the inflationary horse has long since bolted and reached 6.9%, leaving the bank with few options, according to experts.

“We expect the Reserve Bank to raise the OCR by another 50 points ….. and we also expect the RBNZ to provide a clear signal that there is more tightening to come,” Westpac economists wrote.

“The RBNZ has come to the conclusion that stronger action early on will reduce the need for an even more painful peak in interest rates in the future.”

ANZ also forecast a 50 point rise but suggested there would be a greater appetite for more considered 25 point rises later in the year.

That said, it described the tolerance for further inflationary pressures as “nil”.
ASB had a similar view.

“We expect high inflation and capacity pressures to warrant a period of restrictive OCR settings with a 50bp OCR hike next week, a series of 25bp lifts (later) and with the OCR to peak at 3.25% in early 2023,” ASB economists wrote.

“The outlook beyond then is highly uncertain,” they said.

“But if government policies are effective in alleviating capacity frictions and ensuring the period of high inflation is indeed transitory, the OCR could well subsequently be cut to more neutral levels, a shade over 2%.”

Comments

On Tuesday, May 24th 2022 1:15 pm Murray Weatherston said:

A 50bp rise to 2.00% for the ICR is just an intermediate bus stop on the way to the eventual terminus at 3+%

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