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New Zealand cuts benchmark interest rate to new low of 1.5%

May 8, 2019 3:52 pm

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Citing lower global growth, New Zealand’s Reserve Bank has cut the nation’s benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to an all-time low of 1.5%.

The cut on Wednesday brings New Zealand’s rate in line with Australia’s rate of 1.5%. It was New Zealand’s first cut since November 2016, when the bank also cut the rate by a quarter point.

The bank says demand for New Zealand’s goods and services has slowed since mid-2018 as global economic growth has moderated. It says employment was near the maximum sustainable level but the outlook for employment growth was subdued.

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The New Zealand dollar fell by about one-third of 1 cent on the news, and was trading at a little under 66 U.S. cents.

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