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|RBNZ keeps the OCR on hold at a record low 2.50%|
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept the Official Cash Rate (OCR) on hold at 2.50%, noting the impact of global developments. The Bank Said: "Domestically, economic activity continues to expand, though at a modest pace. Although off their peaks, export commodity prices remain elevated. In addition, the depreciation of the New Zealand dollar provides some support for the tradable sector of the economy. Over time, repairs and reconstruction in Canterbury will also provide a significant boost to demand for an extended period. Annual headline inflation is estimated to have returned within the Bank's 1 to 3 percent target band in the December quarter. Underlying inflation continues to sit close to 2 percent. In addition, wage and price setting pressures have remained contained."
Previously the Bank also held the OCR unchanged at 2.50%, while the Bank cut the rate by 50 basis points in March this year, following the Canterbury earthquake. New Zealand reported consumer price inflation of 4.6% in Q3 this year, compared to 5.3% in Q2, 4.5% in Q1, and 4.0% in Q4 of 2010, and above the official inflation target of 1-3% as short term factors such as tax increases caused a spike in prices.
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The Bank of Namibia held its benchmark interest rate, the repurchase rate, steady at 6.00%, for the 6th consecutive meeting. Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi said: "the MPC is of the view that global economic growth has slowed down noticeably. Global financial markets have shown increasing signs of stress, in both advanced and emerging market economies. The domestic economy continues to grow at a slow pace, particularly in the primary sector. MPC also noted the recent rise in inflation, which was brought about by the rise in prices in specific consumer goods and services."
The Namibian central bank also held its interest rate unchanged at its October meeting, after dropping the rate 75 basis points in December last year. Namibia reported annual inflation of 6.1% on October, up from 5.3% in September, compared to 5.4% the previous month, 4.8% in July, 5.4% in June, 5.2% in May, and 4.8% in April. Namibia's currency is fixed against neighboring South Africa's rand (ZAR), thus the Namibian central bank tends to follow the monetary policy decisions of the South African Reserve Bank.
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The Narodowy Bank Polski's Monetary Policy Council held the benchmark 7-day interest rate unchanged at 4.50%. The Bank said: "In the opinion of the Council, in the medium term inflation will be curbed by gradually decelerating domestic demand amidst fiscal tightening, including reduced public investment spending, and interest rate increases implemented in the first half of 2011, as well as the expected global economic slowdown. The impact of the situation in the global financial markets on zloty exchange rate continues to be an upside risk to domestic price developments."
The Bank also kept the following interest rates unchanged: the rediscount rate at 4.75%, the Lombard rate at 6.00%, and the deposit rate at 3.00%. The Bank last raised the interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.50% in June this year, and held the interest rate unchanged at its previous meeting.
Poland reported annual headline inflation of 4.3% in October, up from 3.9% in September, compared to 4.3% in August, 4.1% in July, with previous readings of 4.2% in June, 5% in May, 4.5% in April, 4.3% in March, and just higher than the Bank's official inflation target of 2.5% +/- 1%.
The IMF recently reduced its forecast for Poland's 2011 economic growth rate to 3.8% from 4% previously. The Polish Zloty (PLN) has weakened by about 13% against the US dollar so far this year; the USDPLN exchange rate last traded around 3.33.
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Iceland's Sedlabanki held its seven-day collateral lending rate unchanged at 4.75%. The Bank said: "The nominal policy rate path required to bring inflation back to target is highly uncertain. In the near term, the current level seems broadly appropriate in light of the economic outlook and potential international headwinds. Looking further ahead, however, it will be necessary to withdraw the current degree of monetary accommodation as the recovery progresses and the slack in the economy disappears. The degree to which such normalisation takes place through higher nominal rates will depend on future inflation developments."
Iceland's central bank increased the rate 25 basis points at its previous meeting, after increasing the lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.50% in August. Iceland reported headline inflation of 5.3% in October, compared to 5.7% in September, 5% in July, 4.2% in June, 3.4% in May, and 2.3% in March; inflation had previously been forecast to peak just above 3.0% around the middle of this year, meanwhile the Bank's inflation target is 2.5%. Iceland's currency, the krona (ISK), last traded around 119 against the US dollar.
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