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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 21:27 GMT Jun 27/17:27 EST Jun 27
--Leaves OCR Unchanged at 1.75%
By Sophia Rodrigues
     SYDNEY (MNI) - The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the official cash rate
unchanged at 1.75% and left the key message that the rate could move up or down
intact but pointed to growing downside risks as flagged by MNI Insight published
Wednesday.
     Overall, the statement signals the risk is for a lower OCR. 
     "The Official Cash Rate (OCR) will remain at 1.75 percent for now. However,
we are well positioned to manage change in either direction - up or down - as
necessary," the RBNZ said Thursday.
     An important change was "for now" in the message. In May the RBNZ said,"The
Official Cash Rate (OCR) will remain at 1.75 percent for some time to come."
     The RBNZ said the outlook for the New Zealand economy as detailed in the
Monetary Policy Statement in May remain intact but pointed to downside risks
from global growth and inflation, and domestic growth.
     Outlook for global economic growth and inflation has been tempered slightly
by trade tensions in some major economies, the RBNZ said. "Ongoing volatility in
some emerging market economies continues," the RBNZ added.
     Domestically, the Q1 GDP implies marginally more spare capacity in the
economy than anticipated, the RBNZ said, adding that the government's projected
spending impulse is also slightly lower and later than anticipated.
     At the same time, the RBNZ was more optimistic about consumer price index
inflation rising in the near term due to higher fuel prices but didn't change
the outlook for a gradual rise to the 2% target beyond that.
     "The best contribution we can make to maximising sustainable employment,
and maintaining low and stable inflation, is to ensure the OCR is at an
expansionary level for a considerable period," the RBNZ said.
--MNI Sydney Bureau; tel: +61 2-9716-5467; email: sophia.rodrigues@marketnews.com