Official Cash Rate remains unchanged at 1.75 per cent amid 'unprecedented' employment growth

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1 NEWS

The new Reserve Bank Governor is keeping the official cash rate at 1.75 per cent amid "unprecedented" employment growth.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr announces that the OCR will remain unchanged at 1.75 per cent on May 10, 2018.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr announces that the OCR will remain unchanged at 1.75 per cent on May 10, 2018.

Source: 1 NEWS

This is the first OCR and Monetary Policy Statement delivered by  new Governor Adrian Orr, who now needs to take employment into account when setting the cash rate.

Mr Orr said maintaining the rate set in late 2016 was "the best contribution [the Bank] can make, at this moment, to maximising sustainable employment and maintaining low and stable inflation".

That's in line with what most industry analysts had expected.

Employment growth was "unprecedented", Mr Orr said.

However consumer price inflation was still low, hovering just above one per cent. The Bank's target mid-point for inflation is two per cent.

"The number of willing workers continues to rise, especially with more female and older workers choosing to participate. Likewise net immigration has added to the supply of labour, and the demand for goods, services, and accommodation," he said.

The Bank is picking inflation would begin to rise as capacity constraints, such as those of labour shortages, began to emerge.

And as businesses struggled to find workers, they would need to invest in other ways - in productivity, equipment, technology - to continue to grow.

Over time those capacity constraints are projected to gradually raise inflation, Mr Orr said.

As for the future of the OCR, "only time and events" would tell whether the next move would be up or down, said Mr Orr.

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