NZ central bank to inject $17.1b into economy
WELLINGTON, March 23: New Zealand's central bank announced plans to spend NZ$30 billion (US$17.1 billion) on government bonds Monday as a way of stimulating the virus-hit economy.
The move comes after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand last week slashed its base rate to 0.25 per cent and the government unveiled a NZ$12.1 billion spending package with a promise of more to come.
"The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify," the bank said in a statement.
The monetary policy committee "agreed that further monetary stimulus is needed to meet its inflation and employment objectives."
New Zealand has 66 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths yet in a population of around five million.
The economy, heavily reliant on tourism and farm exports, is worth about NZ$310 billion a year, making the bank's bond spending spree equivalent to almost 10 per cent of gross domestic product. -AFP