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90 seconds at 9 am: Britain back in double dip recession; US new home sales fall unexpectedly; German business confidence falls more than forecast; NZ$ at 78.8 USc
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news British GDP fell 0.7% in the June quarter, which was worse than the 0.2% fall economists had forecast.
This follows a 0.3% fall in the March quarter and drags Britain back into a double dip recession as it battles a sharp slowdown in the neighbouring euro-zone economies and as its own severe budget tightening slows the economy.
The International Monetary Fund called on Britain to consider easing its budget constraints. See more here at Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, in the United States new home sales fell unexpectedly in June from a two year high to their lowest level since January. See more here at Bloomberg.
In Germany business confidence fell in July by more than forecast to its lowest level in more than two years as the growing euro-zone debt crisis undermines activity. See more here at Bloomberg.
However, the euro rose on talk the euro-zone rescue fund may be given a banking license, which would allow it to borrow from the European Central Bank and then use that money to bail out Southern European governments and banks. See more here at Bloomberg.
But US stocks closed flat, erasing earlier gains made on hopes the US Federal Reserve will announce a third round of quantitative easing as early as next week. Apple shares slumped after its results were weaker than forecast as iPhone buyers held off in expectation of the launch of the iPhone 5. See more here at Bloomberg.
In China, the International Monetary Fund has warned the worsening euro-zone crisis is a key risk for China's economy. See more here at BBC.
All of this news about a synchronised slowdown in the global economy, with the euro-zone debt crisis worsening a slowdown in China and further weakening growth in America is driving investors to safe have bond investments, further lowering yields and building expectations of more interest rate cuts and money printing by central banks. This all strengthens the case for interest rates staying lower for longer in New Zealand as the global economy slows and the Christchurch rebuild only slowly gets going.
The New Zealand dollar was solid at 78.8 USc this morning ahead of the Reserve Bank's decision on the Official Cash Rate due at 9 am. Economists are unanimous in expecting the Reserve Bank to leave the rate on hold at 2.5%. They do not see it increased until March of next year, or possibly not until June.