Reserve Bank leaves Official Cash Rate unchanged at 1.75%; still sees upside and downside risks

Story updated by Jenée Tibshraeny

The Reserve Bank has as expected left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 1.75% and says upside and downside risks continue to exist.

The OCR has now been unchanged for two years.

Despite recent economic developments exceeding RBNZ expectations - notably with inflation stronger than expected, economic growth better than expected, and Wednesday's unemployment figures much lower than expected - the RBNZ has made little change to its outlook.

In what is perhaps a significant slight shift though, the statement put out by the RBNZ did remove explicit suggestion that the next interest rate move could be up or down - though such a potential move is still implicitly suggested by the wording in the statement.

At the media conference on Thursday Governor Adrian Orr said the RBNZ had not taken a rates cut "off the table" and said the bank remained "data dependent".

The New Zealand dollar, which took off skyward after the release of the employment figures, was largely unmoved by the RBNZ announcement, at around US67.8c.

In projections contained in the Monetary Policy Statement released on Thursday, the RBNZ has left unchanged the starting point for interest rate rises at September 2020, even though it has substantially tweaked upwards its expectations of short term inflation.

More significantly perhaps, the central bank has revised upwardly its longer view of inflation and now sees the rate hitting 2.1% (which is above its explicit 2% aim) by December 2020. It sees it hitting 2.3% by 2021.

More pigeon than dove or hawk

Kiwibank economists Jarrod Kerr and Jeremy Couchman characterise the RBNZ's risk assessment as "pigeon-like" - "look out for everything up and down".

They say the shift is a welcome move from the very dovish, more risks to the downside, commentary in August.

"But we must note, the bank is far from hawkish, as the risks from above need time to play out."

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens is on the same page, but maintains the "new" RBNZ is still more dovish than the old. 

He says it's extraordinary the RBNZ is forecasting that inflation and employment will overshoot the targets in the medium term, yet it isn't planning to remedy that by raising the OCR.

"This could become a theme – strong data but a Reserve Bank that declines to forecast a rising OCR."

ANZ economists Sharon Zollner and Liz Kendall make the point: "The recent data-flow provides the RBNZ with breathing room that it is happy to utilise."

However they say: "The RBNZ will be wary of reading too much into one surprising employment data point (and indeed the Governor said as much in the press conference), but it will reaffirm its now firmly neutral stance. 

"While the Governor stressed that cuts are not off the table, they now look much less likely in the short term."

On this note, ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says: "A cut remains a non-negligible risk, but material weakness in ‘hard’ data such as GDP would be needed to seriously entertain a cut."

This is the statement from RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr:

The Official Cash Rate (OCR) remains at 1.75%. We expect to keep the OCR at this level through 2019 and into 2020.

There are both upside and downside risks to our growth and inflation projections. As always, the timing and direction of any future OCR move remains data dependent.

The pick-up in GDP growth in the June quarter was partly due to temporary factors, and business surveys continue to suggest growth will be soft in the near term. Employment is around its maximum sustainable level. However, core consumer price inflation remains below our 2% target mid-point, necessitating continued supportive monetary policy.

GDP growth is expected to pick up over 2019. Monetary stimulus and population growth underpin household spending and business investment. Government spending on infrastructure and housing also supports domestic demand. The level of the New Zealand dollar exchange rate will support export earnings.

As capacity pressures build, core consumer price inflation is expected to rise to around the mid-point of our target range at 2%.

Downside risks to the growth outlook remain. Weak business sentiment could weigh on growth for longer. Trade tensions remain in some major economies, raising the risk that trade barriers increase and undermine global growth.

Upside risks to the inflation outlook also exist. Higher fuel prices are boosting near-term headline inflation.  We will look through this volatility as appropriate. Our projection assumes firms have limited pass through of higher costs into generalised consumer prices, and that longer-term inflation expectations remain anchored at our target.    

We will keep the OCR at an expansionary level for a considerable period to contribute to maximising sustainable employment, and maintaining low and stable inflation.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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85 Comments

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Absolute cowards. Our exchange rate will drop over the next few years, and everyday Kiwis will be paying more for everything as a result, all in order to protect those who have speculated on property and taken out mortgages that would be completely unsustainable at a normal interest rate.

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100%

Rising interest rates vs rising cost of goods. Pick one.

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Give average working and saving Kiwis a pay cut to protect speculators.

It's the system we've chosen. If we don't protect speculators then we are pretty much assured of a recession which is no good for average kiwis anyway. This has alwas happened throughout history when money is created out of nothing.

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The solution from RBNZ is to allow speculators to borrow more at lower rates and, as a result, inflate the debt bubble even further so when it pops it hits average Kiwis harder.

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And yet the problem is, the growth it was hope this would achieve didn't seem to eventuate. It only went into inflated asset prices because we incentivise speculation in houses and disincentivise productive investment in business.

Hi Rick, Advisor. I agree with you both. Question is though, what can we do about it? I can understand how the last US election became a revolt against the establishment as the same thing seems to happen regardless of which party is in charge. We have the same issue, we get the same results out of Labour and National.

I totally agree. We've had successive governments who promise a plethora of changes pre-election but deliver much less upon coming into power. The value proposition from either party in power usually comes down to, we are marginally better than the other.

So much of what's wrong in our economy can be pinned down upon faulty market forces, mainly on the supply side; be it housing, power, food, insurance, retail. As our population grows, we see more intermediaries coming into the market but we have had the same large players controlling production/upstream activities.
I've been waiting for someone to address this issue, let alone solve it but posturing is all that we get.

Advisor, I’m with you 100% about the issues on the supply side. Only the small parties dare raise these issues and nothing eventuates.
I would contend that artificially driven demand through easy money (money creation) has distorted things further. In a Steve Keen video kindly linked by Nic Johnson, he found a .6 correlation between credit creation and house prices.
Seems like we are damned with our political parties as well as both sides of the supply and demand equation.

Given this benefits neither young Kiwis nor old Kiwis reliant on interest on term deposits, I guess the immediate need is to at least start getting awareness raised among these groups. Grey Power members are being asked alongside young Kiwis to sacrifice their quality of life to protect speculators.

I agree those would be the key target markets, especially the older gen living on pensions that afford less and less. I’ve toyed with the idea of producing a short video to highlight why this is happening and where the issue lies. Try to force the issue through understanding. I might have to start asking around as I have zero video production experience.

Good idea.

Yes, the older generation is obviously key as they vote in larger numbers than the younger ones who are affected. Although if more younger ones realise they are being given a pay cut to protect speculators, they may start voting more...

(Something like Camtasia is a reasonable tool to make videos with. Not too expensive as these things go, and not too hard to learn the basics from YouTube.)

"Normal interest rate" code for one that punishes all those with debt in the hope I and the other vultures can feast on their corpses. You all reek of self interest and desperation.

CPI was below 1 for yonks and RB didn't drop rate any lower. Now CPI hasn't hit 2 yet and you are all crying like stuck pigs because you want an OCR increase. LMFAO.

For the ten year period 2000 - 2010 the OCR was on overage just over 6%, with a maximum of 8.25% and a minimum of 2.5%.

I would consider an average of 6% to be about normal, and if someone is so indebted in poor quality assets that they can't sustain an OCR of 6% then in my opinion they should be a figurative financial corpse. I don't enjoy paying more for every expense in my life just so that some leech doesn't have to sell his sixth investment property to cover his payments on his interest only mortgages.

You must be a professional cherry picker.

What was the OCR for that period?

I just gave you the average, minimum and maximum for the ten year period, which I wouldn't say is cherry picking, but here is every OCR decision since it's implementation:

https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary-policy/official-cash-rate-decisions

Why pick the 2000 to 2010, why not the last 10 years?... Because you are cherry picking. You're a cherry picker and you don't even know it:)

What was the CPI for your cherry picked period?...

You talk rubbish HeavyG

That's your comeback...

Sad... [shakes head]... so sad.

If interest rates were 7% the interest on a kiwibuild house in Auckland would be $740 a week. If you want to make the housing 'crisis' significantly worse then stick the interest rates up. Nobody is going to build houses that people can't afford to buy. High interest rates discourage productive investment.

A rise in interest rates to 7% just might throw why the cost of Building a house in New Zealand is so high. Time to be realistic and get the user paying a fair rate for saving and being frugal as to life's expectations.

ShoreThing doesn't care about the housing crisis. Like the other baby boomers on this site he is probably sitting in a freehold home living off the interest on his term deposits. He is smarting that the TD rates are so low and his lizard brain knows higher rates = more income = more cruises.

Therefore, interest rates must go up which means OCR must go up. To justify them going up there is a lot of illogical mumbling that must follow... "specuvestors are devils..", "FHB who didn't wait for crash have only themselves to blame"... "RBNZ is owned by Barfoot and Thompson".... "6% is normal interest rate (**10% would be better but then I would look like a crazy old coot so I'll stick with 6% and cherry pick old OCR rates to make it look scientific)).

Funny AF.

Not even close - I'm 25, and have no TDs. Way to play the man and not the ball though, classy.

It's good news for house owners/buyers/investors.

There's likely to be increased activity in the housing market over the summer months - with perhaps some upward movement in prices.......

TTP

bought and paid for.

Hi ShoreThing
Disagree with your sentiments which seemed somehow based based on an envy emotion rather than factual analysis.
The RBNZ call is the right one in terms of the economy and housing.
- Implications for economy: Continuing low OCR may keep the NZ dollar low meaning slightly higher cost of imports (and higher costs for trips overseas) but it is going to greatly assist NZ exporters who suffered over the past six to ten years. This is good for employment rates and this is reflected in the historically low 3.9% unemployment rate yesterday, and on this announcement the diollar improved noticeably as what is perceived as a strong economy. Rather than the negative waves, think positively that a low OCR means jobs (and also less of the social issues that go with high unemployment).
and maintaining low interest rates.
- Implications of for interest rates and the housing market: mortgage rates will continue to be low and hence risks for recent home buyers - including FHB - including both affordable mortgages and remove risk of a property collapse. As for your claim that it will encourage speculators (property investors?) is garbage; RBN is controlling this through LVRs - RBNZ figures show that the number of mortgages taken out by investors has fallen 49% between Sept 2015 and Sept 2018 while the OCR has been kept at this historically low level.

Personally - as a baby boomer, our nest eggs which a decade ago could expect to return 6+% or so in term deposits is only returning half that. But I don't think that this factor enters your emotional thinking.

There's no thinking involved printer8, it's just "the RBNZ didn't do what I wanted, therefore I'm going to throw my toys out of the cot and insult them", it's the mainstream behaviour on this site, just look at the number of thumbs up, 26 and counting

I just hope all investors have been busy paying down there debt with these insanly low interest rates!!!Best opportunity to get into a good position for when rates rise.

Hi Narrabeen
Agree, but more so than investors, I hope that homeowners and especially recent FHB are paying down that debt.

Given that a low OCR and consequently likelihood of continuing low mortgage rates and support for the current property market level, it would seem an opportune window for FHB to look to buy and start paying down that debt.
As a baby boomer who is adversely affected by a low OCR and consequently low term deposit rates, I can say hand on heart I am not unhappy as I see it advantageous to young FHB and those with mortgages.

You are in the minority. Most of the whingers on here are baby boomers crying because TD are so low and want OCR to be at 50% with the added perk investors crash and burn and too bad if FHB go down with them.

Your comment seem to be among the comments on this article. Stop Baby boomer bashing it is just a statement to justify your opinion.

Great to see a sensible comment Narrabeen Boy, best advice, not just to investors but to owners alike!

Shore thing. Exchange rate is determined by interest rate differential versus other nations, and the prospect of economic growth and perceived stability. By not raising the cash rate, NZs prospective economic growth is higher than would be expected with a higher cash rate.

Your simplistic view led to the demise of many traders when Abe announced massive Japanese QE in 2013. The dumb money thought negative interest rates and money printing automatically meant a lower Yen. When in reality the Yen entered a bull market, due to perception Japan was about to enter a period of strong economic expansion.

@Shore Thing
Insulting anyone in the public eye "Absolute cowards" sure yields a lot of thumbs up on this site, 26 and counting.
No doubt all the people agreeing with insulting others would do a much better job

Yep totally agree, NZ has become just like many other 'First World' countries, totally driven by greed and an insatiable appetite for more wealth, more power. Its never enough and they will do whatever they need to do to protect it. The focus is more on individual wealth than it is on what is best for New Zealand and a future for our kids, and they are going to hate us for it! We have totally lost our way.

Shore Thing,

I haven't had a mortgage for 20 years and have several TDs,so higher interest rates would suit me just fine. But can you tell me what the 'normal' mortgage rate is and why?
Are you saying that despite the lack of inflationary pressures,the RB should raise the OCR in order to move the exchange rate higher? How would that effect our exporters?

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Can't raise interest rates as we are in a precarious position brought on by bad loans encouraged by... low interest rates...

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That sums up the intellectual bankruptcy of the last decade's monetary policy.

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So we have unemployment at very low levels with employers struggling to find staff rational economics says wages should begin to rise along with inflation and the RBNZ says interests rates are going to stay for put until 2020 ? The elephants in the room debt and debt.

It's a ruse. I'd be more worried if they'd dropped the OCR.

Nothing wrong with debt!
It just needs to be used correctly!

This will be a real test of the RBNZ's relevance. They call no move on interest rates until 2020. Let's see what the big 4 banks do with interest rates once this temporary market share scrap ends. I am still picking onwards and upwards. Of course the RBNZ could tighten up the residential lending market and conversely loosen the manufacturing and business market by adjusting the capital adequacy ratios. But who has the cahonas to do something that radical?

it would be too complex move for them to make, think simpler as they do , lol

Stagflation here we come...

Does Mr Orr not know that Nic has confirmed interest rates will be rising next year?

I venture a guess you do not understand the dynamics of OCR v wholesale swap rates. The latter shooting up yesterday... if that stays there, retail interest rates will definitely climb. OCR usually impacts just variable pricing, which NZers do not have much of.

I understand the relationship between swap rates, OCR and inflation. I also understand that Mr Orr will do what Mr Orr says he will do.

Explain to me the relationship between the OCR and Swap Rates? the OCR being the rate at which the RBNZ provides limitless liquidity to the clearing banks to settle their daily commercial transactions. That's all it does. Sure it can be used to finance an asset book...for one day...but who'd run 30-year lending book on a daily roll-over basis when much of the lending is fixed at term?

As i understand the OCR sets the lower bound on what the banks will lend at, and the upper bound is determined by what they have to pay to get enough long term funding to meet various capital adequacy and liquidity ratios. (+ profit margins in both cases)

is that about right?

No as they can borrow overnight at a lower cost and take on some risk by using some of those funds to back fixed mortgages. This means that the OCR has a strong effect on variable and short period fixed rates and then its impact diminishes with the period of fix.

Ahahahaha, made my day thank you.

No surprise there, inflation, although rising, is still below 2%. Inflation has run below 2% for a long time, nothing wrong to let it go above 2% for some time.

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I'll stick my neck out and make a prediction:
If the OCR doesn't rise before 2020, it won't rise at all because by then, the US will be in recession and the Fed will unwind all their recent hikes, the OZ property market will still be in the doldrums so their cash rate will be low and the RBNZ won't be able to raise our OCR because there's too much debt in NZ and servicing will be marginal for too many to let them fail.

Let's see in 2 years

Yvil, I agree with you.

The reaction to an external shock will be to lower rates to stimulate the economy. But this will just cause more debt which wont solve anything in the long run. I bet you we will see a lowering of the OCR with stricter lending policies (to residents, not businesses) so we are forced as a nation to lower personal debt together while businesses are able to invest. The lower rate will help out repayments for mortgages and the restrictions will force us to pay off the debt and not to borrow more.

Sounds like a DTI limit, effectively. Which would mean house prices have to come down or incomes have to go up for houses to get purchased in high volumes.

TrappedMillennial, BINGO!!!!! and that is exactly what happened after the GFC, but there was still a period of house price depreciation. It was called THE CREDIT CRUNCH. You can absolutely have an environment where some lending is very cheap, but lending restrictions are very tight.
When the OCR is low, banks can lend at these low rates, but only want to lend very conservatively because risk is high. Banks then compete with incredibly low rates for the very safest borrowers. The carded rate looks amazing, but only a very small percentage of borrowers will ever be able to access them and the overall size of the loan might be much diminished.

In high volatility, high risk economic climates (which we are currently headed towards), low debt and low risk becomes incredibly valuable (this can lead to house price depreciation or price ceilings), in a low volatility, low risk economy, risk premiums are rated on the opposite end of the spectrum, banks take much higher risks and lend much more liberally (allowing rapid house price escalation). They also often lend too liberally and then over react to the risk they have created for themselves.

Over and over in these comments, this basic fact of banking is ignored. People commenting on the OCR, cross rates, wholesale costs and relative cost of mortgage servicing, ignore the fact that credit availability has every bit as much potential effect to inflate or deflate a housing market.

This happens over and over in many markets. And it is happening in NZ right now.

Example; I am currently in a rental property. My property manager called last week to arrange for a valuer to gain access to the house. He was very explicit and explained that the owner wanted to release equity from the house to fund borrowing on an additional investment property. Of course he is, the media has been spewing hyperbole about Wellington price escalation. He has FOMO and wants his slice of the cake. Today I get another URGENT URGENT OMG call...turns out...the valuer hadn't valued the property sufficiently highly for the lending on his next PI purchase is about to fall through, pretty please can I let another valuer through within the hour please please please because the owner desperately needs that higher valuation.
However, the entire last month all we have seen is lower and lower mortgage rates and cheaper lending. And here's my point.... cheaper lending rates do not always inflate housing markets... sometimes they are a symptom of banks reassessing risk and simply being more competitive over the shrinking pool of potential borrowers.

Great post, Ginja.

Good post Ginger Ninja

Which is why i am saving my ass off to get into a house when the world breaks. I also understand that 20% deposit will not be enough for a house when the banks are chasing capital/liquidity, you need 40% at least for the banks to look at you. Ultimate dream would be to buy 2 houses with my ever growing deposit, or 2 within a few years.

Also, your mention works well for corporate debt as well. I am currently scouting companies (to later invest in) which have reduced their debt to a low level which can capitalise on future shocks.

After the GFC I was one of the few people under 40 (out of ALL the people I know) that managed to buy a house during the depths of the credit crunch. I had a 28% deposit and only borrowed at x3 after tax earnings... and even then it was a bit touch and go!!!! This was in the UK, so a different animal, although banking behaviour and risk pricing is pretty globalised. The house was below the market value of all the other houses on the street for various reasons and I basically bought it for less than the previous owner had, but they needed rid of the house and were at desperation point. That kind of opportunity just doesn't occur in a bubble because it's a sellers market. Now we are moving towards a buyers market, will definitely be a better time to buy. Don't try and catch a falling knife, just do the maths, be honest about your own affordability and take a good deal if one presents itself.

I'm not sure that the world is going to break (although I am positioned just in case it does). However, I do recognise that we are in the down slope of the cycle. I don't know how deep it will go, it may be the sniffles or it may be swine flu (no one can know) but it is definitely good to have cash, liquidity and means in the down phase of any cycle. Grab those opportunities when they present themselves!

And I would recommend not to miss out on Kiwi Build if you are eligible TM. You should never miss out on free money from the Government, especially in the form of a new house or apartment - a desperate government looking to create political wins is dangerous for the taxpayer but great for the individual (asset sales anyone?). By the time the restriction on sale wears off it the cycle may be starting to head upwards again and you can trade up to the nicer area..

I understand the Government has recently contracted 3,500 house build contracts for kiwi build from the major house builders for the Auckland region to be completed in the next 3 years (I am guessing Whenuapai, Paerata, Drury as examples - personally I would pick Whenuapai as it has the most upward potential in my view). Supply < $1mio end purchase price houses is going to increase substantively in the next 3 years and I hope all FHB grab hold of this while it lasts!

After owning my first house for 10 years I am as of tomorrow cashed up (fingers crossed) and will be watching from the sidelines with popcorn and a chequebook waiting to pounce - while it may not crash, there will be "bargains" for the intrepid and prepared. Long live FONGO!!

Thanks Shaok,

A little different for me as I live in Hamilton. What my partner and I have found is we want a Hamilton house around the 600k bracket. Just not for 600k. Its a waiting game at the moment as we pay ridiculous low rent.

Thanks Shaok,

A little different for me as I live in Hamilton. What my partner and I have found is we want a Hamilton house around the 600k bracket. Just not for 600k. Its a waiting game at the moment as we pay ridiculous low rent.

As long as the sums work out, then definitely pays to be patient. We bought our first home last year in the Wairarapa, just as it was really taking off. Houses weren't spending long on the market, by the second open home there would already be conditional offers.

FOMO was there but we didn't want to rush into it and overpay for a property so we just went to every open home and kept communication with every RE Agent in the area. I'd be getting early notifications of properties about to go on the market, opportunity to present an offer before it's advertised. We ended up screwing a vendor down on price. Accidental landlord with a difficult tenant still in the property, only allowing open homes on Monday mornings etc.

Hamilton's time will be coming as well for Kiwi-build. Areas like Peacockes and Te Awa (north) will be prime candidates especially given the government committing funds for the infrastructure. Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland will be the key beneficiaries but also places like Kingston (for Queenstown workers) and many other areas. There is no way this Government can get to 100k extra houses in Auckland alone and will need runs on the board across NZ. Best of luck - home ownership is great with familities but only at the right price that doesn't beggar you for decades.

Hamilton's time will be coming as well for Kiwi-build. Areas like Peacockes and Te Awa (north) will be prime candidate

I read somewhere that Hamilton council did not give any specific % of affordable home allocation and price range in these developments and kiwibuild thingy is uncertain there !

Well said TM, keep on saving, you will find a great deal when you're ready, you have the right attitude

Depends if the bubble has been pricked all the way to the core. Favoured lending to non productive sectors will see us unable to pay the interest. Could take a generation to recover from, so you may be cashed up but it's never the right time to buy that house, always something better to invest in or always a grey cloud hanging around.
I think you are doing the right thing renting. Not that im always right.

100% agree Andrewj.....but there are so many intangible benefits to home ownership, especially so when you have young kids (as I do) and I know I will fall in love with some house or another at some point and regardless of what the market is doing, I will give in to my desire to feather a nest!

Excellent post Ginja, it's great having someone with intelligence and common sense like you on this site

People commenting on the OCR, cross rates, wholesale costs and relative cost of mortgage servicing, ignore the fact that credit availability has every bit as much potential effect to inflate or deflate a housing market.
This happens over and over in many markets. And it is happening in NZ right now.

Its a fundamental theory which should happen . Do you see any reduction in mortgage lending and increase in business lending of late in NZ ? Read somewhere that NZ is not over-leveraged as Aus in debt market ( not sure by what metrics ! ) and still room for more credit spree

Okay, so I think the last figures from RBNZ showed that total lending had slowed quite a lot since May, but was still up on the 2017 figures. So I would say it's too soon to say whether we are seeing that kind of tightening yet.

What I can say anecdotally is that banks appear to be tightening their lending criteria. I have spoken with 2 banks and 2 non-bank lenders over the past month and all commented that they had tightened criteria recently. Obviously RBNZ requested the introduction of LVR and other requests, but what i've noticed has been additional tightening more recently.

Today I get another URGENT URGENT OMG call...turns out...the valuer hadn't valued the property sufficiently highly for the lending on his next PI purchase is about to fall through...owner desperately needs that higher valuation

Given the desperation, I wouldn't be surprised if he had failed to put a subject-to-finance condition on the contract.

I agree regarding the business cycle. 3.9% unemployment, a sinking currency, rising inflation. I expect landlords to try and jack up rents in the absence of capital gains.

Plus, don’t forget monetary policy has a 18 month lag so not only are they saying there is no inflation today, they are saying they don’t expect any in mid 2020. I just don’t see how you can justify that view.

Plus, keep in mind 1.75% isn’t neutral, it’s foot on the gas. Shouldn’t they at least start easing it up?

As Omar said, "it's all in the game" and in the case of the economy, the game is rigged. It's rigged to higher house prices and it's rigged to higher share markets. The only unknown is what path. You can fight it if you want, but you'll lose.

A true bureaucrat trying to preserve ones legacy/income without incident - the toothless self assessed bank enquiry.
Exports may increase, but cost of living and interest rates will.
Decades of greed is now beyond any academic saving economic fundamentals.

Investor money will now move to the USD to get better returns and the NZD is set to decline. The longer interest rates are hold low the more it will hurt when they have no choice but to put them up.

Ah yes, the banksters. A particularly well presented lot (on the whole) & endowed with great knowledge & power (they think). A perfect job for control freaks or those who think they know everything, but every time they try something on their own, they fail. Related to civil servants & others seen coming & going furiously each day from their landed mansions in the lifestyle suburbs of every major city around the globe.
The banksters are what took us to the edge in 2007, and it appears they may be up to their sneaky little tricks again. Beware the banksters.

Almost sounded like poetry LongJohn

Artificially inflated growth via stimulus will always end badly. Abolish central banks and let economies grow organically, within the natural course of economic cycles. Perhaps sooner than we think , the next governments around the world will win on this agenda...

Oh come on guys I just laughed when I heard this on the radio today, there is no way they can guarantee to hold the current rate for two years. What they are trying to do however is bolster the economy with confidence so speculation continues and the debt train stays on the rails.Talk is cheap and sure it will work, but only if the world economy keeps on track. I'm still picking rates rises in Q1 2019.

3.x mortgage rates on their way.

What do you guys reckon, if fixing next month for the lowest available rate, 12 months or 18 months?

2 to 3 years if it was me.

12 months,
1) the rates are lower
2) more flexible to react to rate changes (locked in for 6 months less)
3) you have a reasonable chance predicting rates in 12 months but very little chance 2 or 3 years out