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New Zealand cut interest rates for the first time in more than four years on Thursday amid near-stagnant inflation and a slump in prices for its all-important dairy exports.
 
New Zealand confirmed Thursday it had failed to meet a pledge to deliver a budget surplus this year, although Finance Minister Bill English insisted the government's books were on the right track.
 
New Zealand's central bank left interest rates unchanged at 3.5 percent on Thursday and analysts said plans for further hikes appear to have been scrapped due to lower-than-expected inflation figures.
 
The New Zealand dollar sank Monday after the central bank disclosed it conducted its biggest sell-off of the currency in seven years to lower an exchange rate that is squeezing exporters.
 
Building work in quake-damaged Christchurch helped drive New Zealand's economy to its fastest rate of growth in more than six years, according to figures released Thursday.
 
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