OCR freeze welcomed
After last week’s increase in the official cash rate and export data for the June quarter, Federated Farmers is relieved the OCR is likely ro be on hold for the rest of the year.
‘‘With the rural economy’s sentiment decidedly bearish, an OCR hold is perhaps the best we could hope for,’’ Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston said.
‘‘Dairy farmers are anxious about their likely payout following falls in international dairy prices and a stubbornly high exchange rate. This will not be helped by the seasonally adjusted value of exported goods falling 7.4 per cent in the June quarter. Given the drop in farmer confidence and other economic developments, we actually thought there was good case for the OCR to be left unchanged.
‘‘While that’s now academic, the key thing is that the Reserve Bank has clearly communicated its intention to pause and take stock. This is the right signal.
‘‘ The fact that inflation remains contained is helpful and it has given the Reserve Bank some breathing space.
‘‘We now hope that the Reserve Bank will be able to keep the OCR on hold for an extended period. To be able to do that other government policies need to help rather than hinder. This means . . . tight control of spending and wider policies around regulation. Exporters, whether ICT, tourism or the primary industries, need policies to assist rather than impede productivity and competitiveness. ‘‘ We hope that the media and commentators will be examining policies and pledges against this prescription,’’ Rolleston said.