(Bloomberg) — New Zealand inflation was firmer than economists expected in the fourth quarter, adding to signs the central bank may not need to cut interest rates any further.
Consumer prices rose 1.4% from a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said Friday in Wellington, matching the third-quarter reading. Economists expected inflation to slow to 1.1%. Prices rose 0.5% from three months earlier, exceeding the 0.2% forecast.
The Reserve Bank has projected that inflation will fall below the bottom of its 1-3% target range this year, suggesting monetary policy will remain stimulatory. Still, as the economy recovers from last year’s Covid-induced recession there are signs of a gradual lift in price pressures which make it less likely the central bank will need to cut interest rates any further.
The New Zealand dollar rose about a quarter of a U.S. cent after the report, buying 72.2. cents at 10:50 a.m. in Wellington.