October 20, 2021

New Zealand central bank interest rate decision after Covid lockdown

Workers and shoppers eat on the steps of Freyberg Place in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, on October 29, 2020, enjoying the freedom of Covid-19 Alert Level 1.

Lynn Grieveson | Newsroom | Getty Images

New Zealand was widely expected to become the first advanced economy to raise interest rates, but the central bank left rates unchanged on Wednesday after one Covid case led the country to announce a nationwide lockdown a day earlier.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said in a statement the decision to hold rates at 0.25% was made “in the context of the Government’s imposition of Level 4 COVID restrictions on activity across New Zealand.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern imposed a nationwide lockdown when the first Covid case in six months was discovered in Auckland, the country’s largest city.

The city will be under lockdown for seven days starting Wednesday, while the rest of the…

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