Updated: 04/24/2014 06:03 | By Agence France-Presse

New Zealand hikes interest rates again

New Zealand's central bank lifted interest rates for the second time in as many months on Thursday, saying it was necessary to contain inflation as an economic recovery gained momentum.


New Zealand hikes interest rates again

A currency exchange teller counts out Hong Kong dollars alongside a stack of New Zealand dollars in Auckland, April 21, 2007 - by Dean Treml

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised the Official Cash Rate (OCR) 0.25 points to 3.0 percent in a well-flagged move that had been widely anticipated by financial markets.

"By increasing the OCR as needed to keep future average inflation near the 2.0 percent target mid-point, the bank is seeking to ensure that the economic expansion can be sustained," governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement.

The hike comes after New Zealand last month became the first advanced economy to lift interest rates since 2012, ending a three-year freeze when the benchmark rate rose to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent.

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