Weak job figures out today have taken economists by surprise.
The unemployment rate has risen to 6.8 percent, with 2,000 people losing their jobs in the June quarter.
ASB economist Jane Turner says they were expecting a lift in job numbers, but the weaker unemployment result adds to a weak inflation picture that's been building for some months.
As a result, she's expecting the Reserve Bank to wait longer to lift the Official Cash Rate.
Ms Turner says they were predicting March next year for the first rise in the OCR.
Meanwhile over 10,000 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the last quarter.
The latest Household Labour Force Survey shows that's on top of the extra 2,000 people joining the dole queue.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says it shows the Government continuing to turn its back on local jobs and industry, preferring to import cheap goods made in China.
He's calling for urgent action to save manufacturing jobs.
Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the labour market in Canterbury continues to affect our job figures.
Photo: NZ Herald