New Zealand firms once again dialled back their two-year inflation expectations and also lowered their growth forecasts, which will likely add to the view the central bank will reiterate that rates will remain on hold until 2019 at Thursday's review.

The Reserve Bank's survey of expectations showed respondents see annual inflation at 1.87 per cent in one year versus 1.77 per cent rate in the prior survey three months ago.

In two years it is seen at 2.02 per cent, down from 2.09 per cent.

The central bank is mandated to keep annual consumer price inflation between 1 per cent and 3 per cent, with a focus on the midpoint. Annual inflation was running at 1.9 per cent in the third quarter.


The survey comes just days before the Reserve Bank is scheduled to release its latest official cash rate decision and monetary policy statement. All 16 economists polled by Bloomberg expect the central bank to keep rates at a record low 1.75 per cent. In its August monetary policy statement, the central bank forecast rates would stay on hold until at least September 2019.

Recently, however, the New Zealand dollar has fallen sharply and is now 7 per cent below where the central bank forecast it would be on a trade-weighted index basis.

There are also signs of inflationary pressure, in particular as the new government is planning to lift minimum wage and increase infrastructure spending.

While the central bank may rejig its forecasts Thursday to note rising inflationary pressure and a weaker currency, economists expect an extremely cautious tone.

Firms trimmed their expectations for economic growth on an annual real gross domestic product basis to 2.65 per cent for the year ahead from 2.75 per cent and to 2.45 per cent from 2.64 per cent for two years ahead.

The jobless rate is seen at 4.66 per cent in one year, down from a prior view of 4.78 per cent. Wage growth is also expected to remain tepid. Annual hourly wage growth for one year ahead is seen at 2.25 per cent versus 2.26 percent in the prior survey and to 2.57 per cent in two years from 2.49 per cent.

The New Zealand dollar is expected to be at 70.40 US cents by the end of December versus 71.30 cents in the previous survey. It is expected to be at 70 US cents a year from now versus a prior view of 70.10. It recently traded at 68.94 US cents.