25 Jan 2016

OCR rate tipped to remain at 2.5 percent

12:41 pm on 25 January 2016

The Reserve Bank will take its first look at the Official Cash Rate for 2016 this week.

Analysts are picking it to stay at the record low 2.5 percent on Thursday.

Several forecasters, including ASB Bank, HSBC, and Westpac, believed the central bank would need to act later in the year and drop the OCR to 2 percent - because of weak inflation and the uncertain global outlook.

Consultancy firm Infometrics' chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan believed the Reserve Bank would keep rates on hold all year, but said there were risks - including China.

"The New Zealand economy is performing reasonably well at the moment.

"We've seen some pretty good indicators coming through over the last couple of months, both business and consumer confidence have stabilised and in terms of business confidence - that's actually picked up a bit as well," he said.

Mr Kiernan said there could be a rate rise next year.

"So coming through to 2017, dairy prices pushing back up gradually as well, global economy improving."

"We would expect to see some scope for interest rates push up within New Zealand, but again it is not going to be a particularly large or rapid rise - you're talking in the order of between 50 and 100 basis points at the most," he added.

Get some historical perspective of the Official Cash Rate (OCR) here.