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Hold interest rates

Hold interest rates - CTU

The CTU has repeated its call for the Reserve Bank to hold interest rates.

"The recovery has stalled. The news on the economy continues to be mixed with core retail sales falling. Consumer confidence will be knocked by the increase in GST and other charges and proposals to reduce job security and workplace rights for wage and salary earners," says Bill Rosenberg, CTU Policy Director and Economist.

"Exports are relying largely on historically high log and dairy prices. The dollar continues to be at levels that make the work of exporters very difficult. International news continues to be negative with European countries mounting austerity programmes which threaten a downward spiral in trade as demand dries up. China's growth rate fell in the last reported quarter.

"Economic consultancies including NZIER and exporters including manufacturers and farmers are also calling for interest rates to be held.

"It is vitally important that the Government looks again at ensuring the stimulus to the economy is sufficient and that there is support for people losing their jobs, with unemployment still at high levels. Increasing interest rates threaten to hit investment when it is most needed.

"There is little threat of inflation looking past the peak in March or June due to GST and other government policy actions.

"The Reserve Bank should hold the OCR at the current level."

ENDS

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