New Zealand central bank cuts policy interest rate to 2.5 per cent, doesn't see further cuts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand’s central bank cut interest rates Thursday for the fourth time in six months but says it’s not planning further cuts.

The announcement prompted a jump in the nation’s currency.

The Reserve Bank cut its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point to 2.5 per cent.

Gov. Graeme Wheeler said economic growth had slowed this year while unemployment had risen.

Wheeler said inflation remained low despite stimulatory conditions and that global growth was below average.

The New Zealand dollar rose by about one U.S. cent on the news and was trading at $0.674. Currencies typically fall with interest rate cuts, but traders were reacting to Wheeler’s comments that the bank didn’t plan further cuts.

The bank has steadily reduced rates from 3.5 per cent in June.