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RBNZ: Deutsche Bank pushes back their call for the first RBNZ hike to February
2019; looking for 3 hikes in total for 2019. Deutsche previously looked for an
August hike, predicated on "an acceleration in price and wage inflation in the
first half of 2019. With headline CPI printing at 0.5%qoq in Q1-18, and with
non-tradables inflation at just 2.3%yoy, it looks unlikely now that this
acceleration is going to emerge as quickly as we had previously anticipated.
This is despite very strong employment growth that has delivered a near-decade
low in the unemployment rate. We continue to think though that the RBNZ will
move before the RBA: but our pick is now for the RBNZ to hike by 25bps in
February 2019. We expect to see three hikes in total in 2019. We would however
characterise the risks around our call as tilted towards an earlier start to the
hiking cycle (i.e. November 2018), though this would require a significant
pick-up in inflationary pressure in coming quarters."