Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Rabobank cut most of its rates. Their new rate card is very flat from six months to 4 years. They have kept a 3% rate for five years. Heretaunga Building Society cut too.
PRESSURE ON AGENTS
Average residential property values declined in the main centres over winter, putting pressure on agents to cut commissions says QV.
Details of the 'new-and-improved' KiwiBuild policies have been announced today.
MBIE has updated its Construction Pipeline. The total construction value is forecast to peak at $43.5 bln in 2021. Residential building activity is forecast to exceed $12 bln in Auckland in 2024. Nationally, residential construction activity will level out from 2020 at $26 bln. Non-residential building will peak in 2021 at $9 bln and then decline. Infrastructure construction will grow to $8.3 bln in 2024. Most of these levels are lower than the previous assessment
Commodity prices are little changed in August from July, with small rises for dairy and small falls for meat. Year-on-year, the overall situation is also very little changed, up less than +1%.
All salaried employees on individual contracts at Fonterra earning more than $100,000 will not be getting annual pay increases in the year ahead. That involves more than 6000 people globally. Fonterra as a payroll of 22,000 people, according to the company's 2018 annual report.
WEAK EXPANSION I
There is more data showing that the Chinese economy is not hurting quite as much as the Americans assume. The independent Caixin survey of services (conducted by American firm Markit) shows their Services Business Activity Index posting 52.1, up from 51.6 in July, signalling the strongest rise in services activity for three months. It is still modest however. Earlier this same survey showed factory activity expanding (50.4). The same firm does the same survey in the US - and that shows factories similar (50.3), although they have yet to report US services in August.
WEAK EXPANSION II
The Aussie economy grew +1.4% in the year to June, according to the 'real' GDP data released today. This is the slowest in ten years, but as analysts were expecting. It was held back by their household sector.
WEAK EXPANSION EVIDENCE
And staying in Australia, new car sales plunged in August, down -10% from the same month a year ago. The industry claims vehicle finance is now much harder to get. That is 17 months of consecutive declines. Even tradie favourite, the Toyota HiLux ute, is in reverse.
SWAP RATES STABLE
Wholesale swap rates are little-changed today but are softer for the longest tenors. The 90-day bank bill rate is down another -1 bp to 1.17%. Australian swap rates are a little softer across the board. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -1 bp at 0.93%. The China Govt 10yr is unchanged at 3.09%, while the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -2 bps to 1.06%. The UST 10yr yield is down -7 bps to 1.46%.
NZ DOLLAR FIRMS
The Kiwi dollar higher by more than +½c at 63.5 USc. That is up almost a cent from yesterday's lows. Against the Aussie we are little-changed at 93.6 AU cents. Against the euro we are firmer at 57.8 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 up at 68.9.
Bitcoin is higher again today at US$10,527, a rise of +1.8% since this time yesterday. The bitcoin price is charted in the currency set below.
This chart is animated here.