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Nationals Say RBNZ Review "Fails Credibility Test" After It Finds COVID-Era Easing Warranted

RBNZ

New Zealand's main opposition National Party said the RBNZ's review of monetary policy decisions for the period 2017-2022 found that monetary easing delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic was warranted and helped avert worst-case economic scenarios.

  • The Reserve Bank conceded that "with the benefit of hindsight, it appears that monetary policy should have been tightened earlier in 2021." However, it also noted that "beginning the monetary policy tightening earlier in 2021 would not have fully offset the strong inflationary impulse stemming from a series of supply shocks."
  • National Party's finance spokesperson Nicola Willis said the review "failed the credibility test," adding that the Nationals would order an independent inquiry into the RBNZ's performance if they form government after the next general election. They have repeatedly urged the authorities to order such a probe to shed light on the RBNZ's role in accentuating inflationary pressures.
  • The National Party has been calling on the Labour administration not to reappoint Governor Orr for another five-year term and said were "shocked" to learn their comments fell flat. If the Nationals win the next election, he will serve during the entirety of their first term. The prospect of a hostile Orr/Nationals cohabitation has raised concerns over central bank independence.

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