Rates likely to remain on hold, for now

  • 28/01/2016
Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler. (Getty)
Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler. (Getty)

The official cash rate is set to remain on hold at today's review, but Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler's update is expected to soften his tone on future rate cuts.

Last month Mr Wheeler said he was done with cutting interest rates after reducing them by 100 basis points over six months to 2.5 percent.

But since then inflation came in softer than the central bank expected in the final three months of 2015, at an annual pace of just 0.1 percent, fuelling speculation rates are headed south as oil prices dropped to a 13-year low.

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens expects a softening in the stance from Mr Wheeler but rates were highly likely to be unchanged after the on hold guidance he gave in December.

"However, we anticipate a significant shift in policy guidance, with the RBNZ adopting an easing bias," he said.

"In our view it is now clear that further OCR reductions are warranted. We expect the Reserve Bank will indicate a greater likelihood of OCR reductions."