China recovering but debt and data suggest it is poor quality growth; Australia braces for bankruptcies; US protects tax-dodging tech giants; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold unchanged; NZ$1 = 65.8 USc; TWI-5 = 70.5

China recovering but debt and data suggest it is poor quality growth; Australia braces for bankruptcies; US protects tax-dodging tech giants; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold unchanged; NZ$1 = 65.8 USc; TWI-5 = 70.5

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news China remains an enigma, with some steps forward but undermined by questions about how that is happening.

The Chinese banking regulator is seeing sharp rises in bad loans coming. It urged lenders to prepare even though they aren’t exposed yet. Bad loans have risen to 2.1%. Banks have been told to boost profit retention to accumulate capital, "while appropriately reducing or limiting bonuses".

China's economy is expanding. Q2-2020 GDP will be announced on Thursday and it is expected to show a +2.1% growth rate. That is a sharp rebound from the -6.8% fall in Q1-2020 (and miles lower than the +6% rates in 2019). It is a rebound that many of its neighbours hope to ride.

Underpinning their recovery, car sales rose in June for the fourth consecutive month and posted the first quarterly rise in two years. It's now the world's largest car market and 2.3 mln vehicles were sold in June, rising almost +12% year-on-year. (However the industry is warning they face up to a -20% fall from here if conditions worsen.)

But new debt is doing its part still. Chinese banks extended ¥1.81 trillion yuan (NZ$400 bln) in new yuan loans in June, up a startling +22% from May and up +13% year-on-year. There is nothing new debt can't solve in China.

And China is pulling back on its limited transparency, suddenly stopping the release of some key data without explanation.

In Australia, ANZ says the six-week lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne will lead to a second wave of businesses going belly-up. And the Canberra government is readying more wage support as their current program comes to an end. It's a treadmill they can't get off. In fact, so far no country has shown how to get off.

Meanwhile, Aussie bankers are pressing customers who can pay, to take themselves off the loan deferral scheme.

Internationally, airline job losses are accelerating. United Airlines says it will lay off 36,000 employees, Emirates says it is to shed 9,000.

In the US, the Federal Reserve balance sheet is still shrinking, now for the fifth consecutive week. After growing sharply to almost US$7.2 tln, it is now down below US$7 tln, a decline of -$248 bln.

The USDA's WASDE report has raised its forecast for imports of beef into the US and lowered its forecast of US milk production. US red meat production is falling and is projected to fall well into 2021 even if the trend is minor. Both trends will aid New Zealand's trade in these key commodities. But they do see dairy output rising in 2021 even if they missed forecasting it falling in 2020.

The US action against countries who try to get tax their tech giants continues. They have announced retaliation against France for trying to get Facebook, Apple and Google to pay some tax. France has deferred action while the BEPS negotiations move forward. So the US has deferred imposing its sanctions on France.

Canada's economy added almost one million jobs last month, as businesses reopened after their COVID-19 shutdowns. And that is on top of the +290,000 it gained in May. But despite that two-month stretch, there are still -1.8 mln fewer jobs in Canada as at the end of June than there were in February. Almost half their job gains were part-time jobs. Their jobless rate fell to 12.3% in June, down from the record high of 13.7% it hit in May. (Across the southern border, the US unemployment rate is 11.1%.)

Wall Street ended last week up +1.1% for the S&P500 on Friday and a weekly gain of +1.7% and taking the year-to-date loss in market capitalisation down to -US$420 bln. European markets closed the week higher on the day too, generally up more than +1%. Frankfurt was up +0.8% for the week, Paris was down -0.7% and London was down a bit more than -1%. Shanghai closed yesterday -2% lower on the day to cap a week of strong gains, up +7.3% as profits we taken at the end and State pension funds started selling. Hong Kong was up +1.4% for the week while Tokyo was unchanged for the week. Locally, the ASX200 ended the week with a -2.3% loss and the NZX50 ended with a -1.5% loss.

The latest compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 12,785,500 and that is up +444,000 since this time on Saturday. Global deaths reported now exceed 566,000 (+10,000).

A quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up +67,000 overnight to 3,388,800. US deaths now exceed 138,000 and that incidence is now rising as ICUs fill to capacity. The number of active infections in the US is now up +58,500 to 1,745,500. Florida is the new epicenter in the US. In fact, it is getting more new cases daily than 112 countries have had in total since the start.

In Australia, there have now been 9797 cases reported, another +244 since this time yesterday, and still concentrated in Victoria. But NSW is now having a surge of its own. Their death count is up +1 at 108 and 17 people are now in ICU (+1). Their recovery rate has slipped back further to under 79%. There are now 1961 active cases in Australia (up +239 in one day).

The UST 10yr yield is holding at 0.64%. Their 2-10 curve is stable at +49 bps. Their 1-5 curve is also unchanged at +15 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve marginally steeper at just under +54 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is up marginally to 0.90%. The China Govt 10yr is unchanged at 3.13%. And the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is also unchanged at 0.98%.

The gold price has held at its lower level, now at US$1,799/oz.

Oil prices are firmer. They are now just over US$40.50/bbl in the US and the international price is just over US$43/bbl. But the US rig count has slipped further, to a new record low.

But the Kiwi dollar is marginally firmer at just over 65.8 USc. On the cross rates we are also firmer at 94.7 AUc. Against the euro we are up to 58.3 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 has risen slightly to 70.5.

The bitcoin price is unchanged at US$9,224. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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78 Comments

CCP controls 1.4 bill people’s or so lives, but even more remarkably can control too the bonuses of bank executives. There are then some aspects over there which ordinary folk over here, might see as being agreeable.

Not many

Exactly!

I never thought I'd say this but... actually wake up sheeple.

And while not mentioned here because this article focuses on international matters; Auckland is starting to panic about its water crisis. Last week the Government started canvassing opinion for a national strategy on water. Over the week end I read a few articles on the various water issues, and a question came to me; is this a strategy to get the rest of the country to pay for Auckland's water? Just like the rest of the country pays for Auckland's transport infrastructure.

In what way does the rest of the country pay for Auckland's transport infrastructure?

Light rail and motorways are paid for partially from the national purse. I lived in Auckland in the early 80s, and at the time the city was at the tail end of an argument coming from Sir Dove-Meyer Robinson about the infrastructure needing to be updated. The rate payers decided it was too expensive and he ultimately lost his mayoral seat as a consequence. It has systematically been ignored/decided as too hard/too expensive and so on until Phil Goff arrived. He then used his political clout and connections to get the central Government to provide partial funding for it. If he had had his way central Government would have paid for all of it. Part of his lobbying backfired and resulted in the regional fuel tax.

Last time I checked, a fair whack of the government's purse came from the Auckland region.

This is just a silly old myth. Aucklanders pay income tax and petrol tax, and more of that flows to the regions than we get in return.

theres seems to be a leak in the narrative ...

Auckland is this economic powerhouse of NZ .... yet it seems to be battling to pay for its infrastructure?

But you are right
We should stop trucking stuff to Auckland and start minding our roads

Well. in part because people want the good of the city (tax free capital gains) without the bad of the city (paying rates for services). Every mayoral election is run on how much people can avoid paying what's required for services, through their rates. Debt has already been loaded up on to push as much out for others to pay as possible.

19
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Rubbish, the greater Auckland area contains around 25% of the country's population. 80% of the country's economic activity and income comes from 'Not Auckland', which means Auckland is costing the rest of the country, it is not the economic driver that Auckland would have the rest of the country believe. The current water woes speak to a far bigger and more important issue - just how much population can the region support? I suggest that the water woes are telling us that there are already too many people in Auckland. But this question should also be discussed for the whole country, not just Auckland. Climate change, COVID, and the economic issues of the last few years should have taught us that continuing to expect growth in a world that is yelling at us that we are destroying our own environment, is frankly suicidal. If not for us, for our children and grandchildren. Denial and a head in the sand attitude will not fix the problem, nor will it go away.

19
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Too many people in NZ not just Auckland. Cant understand why the political woke bang on about climate change being man made then do nothing about controlling the population. In fact their policies on welfare and immigration seem to encourage more people. Sure we can implement more environmentally friendly ways of doing things but as PDK points out frequently we are depleting our resources to sustain our existing lifestyle. NZ needs a population policy. But then in another 40 years the boomers will be gone.

Some less leaky pipes may help.
A touch of urban planning, who knows....

Murray, would you regard your thinking as progressive?

I'm not sure Henry. I try to be realistic and pragmatic. I don't buy into political or religious ideologies. If that's progressive, then I guess I am.

17
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Well that is right on the money.

While the population grows the standards of living decrease, slowley the properties with yards are being removed to stick up some ugly townhouses with no outdoor area.

The kids get stuck indoors on the playstation getting fat, meanwhile the council goes further into debt to fund their growth agenda. They have totally forgotten their mandate.

The Kiwi lifestyle will be a thing of the past for Aucklanders in 20 years

Sorry, what? Let's start with a few corrections:

39% of national GDP comes from the Auckland region.
It has a higher GDP per capita than all other regions bar Taranaki and Marlborough
Two thirds of the country's GDP is generated in the North Island.
Auckland has 1.7m people and mops up a huge portion of imported population pressure.

People are happy to take from the consolidated funds to contribute towards their projects their own local population cannot possibly fund or support, but as soon as Auckland needs something to help manage the population here, suddenly everyone has left their wallet at home.

What is GDP a measure of GV? As opposed to real wealth generated for the country. For example a significant proportion of the nations wealth is generated from agriculture, but last time I was in Auckland I didn't see too many farms. Another area of income has been tourism, but where in the country do the tourists spend their money?

Are you sure all that wealth being created in agriculture is being transport on roads paid for entirely out of the tax base of those regions?

Look don't get me wrong, Auckland is a total balls-up from a planning point of view, but a big part of that is Wellington interference or bumbling with things that would help deal with the inefficiencies present in our current city, like congestion or water infrastructure. The idea that central govt could continue to jam people in here and not have to make a significant investment in the city is laughable, but that's what's happened. As soon as anyone talks about maybe catching us up to where we should have been forty years ago, out come the whingers about Auckland getting funding for projects.

I get your point GV, but look at the regions. If local councils did not undertake significant infrastructure projects themselves, and bleated to the Government that they couldn't afford them, as Auckland has done, they'd just be ignored. The problem for the rest of the country is that to central Government, there are just too many voters in Auckland for them to be able to treat them like that. So they do what any Government does; they come to the party. Within the scope of the issue at the time. I saw the regional fuel tax as a clever solution. Not only did Aucklanders get to pay for their own infrastructure in a way they didn't think could happen, but it also captured any visitor to Auckland with a vehicle too.

For me it raises the opportunity for MMT as outlined by Stephanie Kelton again. Someone else also said this last week, but all of Auckland's (and the rest of the countrys) infrastructure could be paid for with having to tax everybody into poverty. Spending money on infrastructure creates employment, builds long term resilience, and if done well, could reduce our carbon foot print for the future by enabling electric vehicles and other powered vehicles more efficiently. I just hope that someday soon one of our Governments wakes up to the opportunities MMT presents.

Any source for the figures you are spouting? Don't look right to me.

11
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probably by doing the actual work ... rather than the consumption
Auckland has a standard of living which relies on the rest of the country thrashing their resource base

And of course don't forget how the south pays for Aucklands electricity infrastructure - they used to pay with their money now they are paying with their livelihoods.
"Nearly 5 per cent of the Southland workforce will likely lose their jobs — a massive body blow. For Aucklanders having difficulty comprehending what that means, a shock of a similar magnitude in that city would be 40,000 people losing their jobs at once."

"Since 2004, $1.3 billion has been spent on the upper North Island grid, yet only 39 per cent of the investment has been paid for by the upper North Island.
Since that time, transmission prices have increased by 330 per cent in the South Island, 225 per cent in the lower North Island, and 40 per cent in the upper North Island."
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=123...
https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/93150828/transmission-costs...

quote "Nearly 5 per cent of the Southland workforce will lose their jobs"

It's 10% of Invercargill - population 50,000 - workforce of 25,000, job shedding 2,600

While this is a Zerohedge article and needs to be treated as such, one can draw some interesting comparisons between the SS Titanic and the Good Ship New Zealand, ships company of five million. https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/sinking-titanics-great-pumps-finally-fail

The gold price has held at its lower level, now at US$1,799/oz.

....the opportunity cost of holding gold as a hedge against big errors (like a credit bubble bursting) is best illustrated by the yields of competing assets which similarly function as a safety (liquidity) hedge. In other words, lower rates, or, more precisely, lower implied future rates, the less the opportunity cost of using gold.

The demand to do so is likewise very simple, as stated in the quote above. If you think central banks are in danger of losing control – in either direction – then metal is your friend; maybe your best friend if under deflationary circumstances you’re thinking in collateral terms.

Gold has absolutely surged again beginning in late 2018. Of course, Powell and his FOMC models were predicting accelerating consumer prices at that time, but that can’t have been what drove gold substantially higher. Not only did the Fed have to abandon rate hikes intended to head off that predicted inflation, because it was never a real risk to begin with, gold followed along with lower and lower bond yields as monetary and economic risks (deflationary pressures) continued to rise.Gold, therefore, almost always falls in the same bucket as bonds. Link

...one of the few assets not in a bubble.

What happens if we all tighten our belts at the same time?
https://wolfstreet.com/2020/07/12/what-happens-if-most-businesses-consum...

And the 'wisdom' in some of those links is mind bending!

" Lansdowne Partners believes 'excessive short-termism' means stocks are cheap"

Fair enough. But do they really know what they are talking about, given that in the very same article:

"Mayfair firm Lansdowne Partners, which was once seen as the gold standard for equity investors, has suffered years of poor returns. it is shutting its main hedge fund... The firm’s main hedge fund… tumbled 13% in March’s rout, the biggest monthly decline since it started trading almost two decades ago. It was down 23.3% in the first half of the year…”

So we're also paying for quarantining gang members deported from Aussie under the radar.
These deportees, once here, will head straight to MSD for welfare and soon after join their local gangs as overseas reinforcements.

Yesterday, Stuff reported that 501's held in detention in Melbourne are pleading with NZ authorities to bring them home now because of the CV-19 upsurge in Victoria. What is never revealed is how many of them left NZ with a string of criminal convictions already to their name

What's your solution?

It's a bloody tough one. Now "we've"softly decided to shout everyone two weeks holiday, we don't really have a leg to stand on in terms of denying the gang members this.

And indeed the second issue is not going to go away anytime soon... I don't know how we solve this one.

..and good luck getting these guys to pay for anything. I imagine the aus tax payer is paying for the charter flights, nz tax payer for isolation. Meanwhile the aussies now pay for their own flights home and for isolation.

Highlights the problem of charging. It will be the same old scenario.those with a few dollars and a crime free life will fund every other sod.

I suggest we return the compliment and send the biggest murderer of late, back to the Aussie so "The Powers that be" get a taste of their own medicine and have to pay for his lifetime support...Not us. ..Plus Aussie Banks....the largest thieves and fraudsters we have.
And I suggest we do not pay for Aussie Rules and Holidays in Aussie ever again.....Don't think twice....about it. Twice bitten, once shy.

Interesting perspective! I wonder if the shoe was on the other foot if they'd send him back

Who else is a bit fed up that Auckland can't have some more of our abundant water because of 1) the RMA, and 2) Maori superstition? This is truly a problem no other country would create for itself.

Canada?

First Nations that have signed treaties with the federal government may enjoy certain privileges (such as annual cash payments) that non-treaty nations do not. Similarly, Indigenous nations that have won court cases regarding land claims may exercise more control over their lands and populations than others. In general, however, all Indigenous peoples have rights that may include access to ancestral lands and resources, and the right to self-government.

https://tinyurl.com/ydy5yapp

Not me.
RMA is this there for dam ;) good reason as is consultation with Maori.
Do it right instead of blaming the easy targets.

Maori superstition - or Maori looking after a natural resource rather than flogging to death. Part of the problem is us folk think we are somehow disconnedted from nature which has lead us to our current world state. Sorry you cannot wash the SUV today and waterblast your house...shucks.

People are our greatest natural resource.
All the people.

Yer nah

Adding to that, a relatively small population in a developed country that can change fast to capitalize on market fluctuations.
That doesn't seam to be the emphasis at present though.

Good point. Superstition or spiritual beliefs may or may not be hogwash, but what is well known is that they often underpin many sustainable social and environmental practices.
So, one may think that the 'mauri' (spiritual life force) of a river is hogwash, or so is the notion of a taniwha, but they are both coming from a pragmatic space as well - protecting that which is special.

17
up

Maori didn't ask for all these new imported people who are putting more pressure on already stretched resources. John Key let them in simply to make his economy look "Rock Star". It is a disgrace what that man did. He should have to answer for his actions in court. This country needs answers!

Well he supplied the roads, but not the pipes, housing, schools, hospitals...
Awful PM, in hindsight. Extremely short termism.

Sir John Key says biggest regret as PM was not changing flag

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/04/sir-john-key-says-bigges...

Does he not regret underfunding the police, hospitals, schools? Regret not finishing his third term? 2013 was a record low year for the road toll at 5.7 per 100k, does he regret not getting that under 5 per 100k? Of all the things to have as his biggest regret, not changing the flag to go with his self appointed knighthood.

Well he supplied the roads, but not the pipes, housing, schools, hospitals..., and we paid for it while he plays golf in Hawaii

A quick calculation shows that with a population of 1.2 million, 14347 liters of water per person on average falls every day in Auckland's City Council's land area. Surely they can capture enough of this for their uses, as most other municipalities do.

10
up

Creating new water storage would be extremely expensive. Of course it would be possible, but (ironically) Auckland property owners are world-champion whingers when it comes to rates, despite paying some of the lowest in the country.

The RMA would make it impossible to build any new dams anyway. I must say this is a ridiculous problem for city like Auckland given its rainfall to have.

It is ridiculous, and can only be the result of decades of can-kicking. I can't entirely blame the Council though, given the cost and the endless RMA disputes that would be involved. I don't think another dam will ever be built in this country.

Isn't the biggest problem that the current piping network leaks half the water?

perhaps it could -- if not for the decades of delays the Maori and Environmental courts would cause protesting such an action -- in reality -- the water consent submitted in 2013 took 7 years to get to number 103 in the queue -----and would have been another 10 years before it got heard! Democracy at its best!

maybe the nimbyism and tribalism could be put down for a few years to get all of NZ's infrastructure sorted not just one region -

Do you feel for the other 102 applicants in front of the 103

Auckland water supply has a reticulation system that delivers water from Hunua and Waitakere
Auckland watercare has a sewerage network that pumps sewage from across Auckland to either Mangere or North Shore

Similarly Auckland watercare has a separate stormwater system that delivers stormwater into both the Waitemata and Manukau harbours

A solution would be to re-engineer the stormwater system out to Hunua and Waitakere

Might have to retrofit tanks to properties. Of course, won't help that much in years where rain simply isn't falling.

Been tricky times for Watercare when central governments have looked to massive immigration inflows to Auckland instead of real economic policies.

Introduce a one-child policy.

Auckland solved.

I agree we need to look at population growth.
But it needs to be based on incentives and disincentives, rather than an ultra-harsh punitive approach.

We already have, by privileging houses as an investment to such a degree that local fertility has fallen.

Hasn't helped, because central government just decides to import a bunch of large families instead and have the taxpayer subsidise them.

And payments to us that have zero kids

Our household uses 275m3 of water per annum. Average annual rainfall in Auckland on a roof our size is 257m3 so we could be close to self sufficient, albeit the storage required would cost a lot and take up a fair amount of land. There should be an easy partial solution. Maybe mass produce water collection cubes that can be networked?

Free water, in re-usable bottles, not disposable, like the ones the overseas interests get for free to fill.
Tap into the freebies, re-use the bottles, do not let others drain our resources for Free.
And stop all those who are a drain on society, never done a days work in their lives....Send all Politicians and other layabouts, down to Wellington to fill their boots, down there....Stormy at times, but what the heck, they could all go to Summer Camp and learn that all waste and no reusable resource is a waste of Taxpayers Money.......as it has been over the entire reign of these dorks in Awkland, when it rains.
Waste not, want not. ....Rinse and repeat. Sometimes it buckets down.....Use a Bucket or two in the Garden...or Bin Laden......if ya get my point....A drain on society, does not answer our needs....Weather Forecasters and Climate Change deniers..please note....Sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours...it ain't all about Houses and Kiwibuild....it is fund-a-mentals we need.......Water way to Go.

And while on the subject of Waste....Power to the People, not...overcharge em for the priviledged. ..ME.....stands for US, not Meridian Energy.

the council could provide subsidies for Grey water systems for those who can afford them and let those that can't subsidize those who can. Oh hang on - Watercare dividends. Nevermind - will never happen

ditto Electric cars and Solar panels - not very PC or particularly fair but are "options"

Meanwhile in the here and now.

Rent rises, rejection of alternative leases, enforcement of break fees, break fees treated as wind fall gains.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/421084/govt-delays-over-commercial-r...

Justice Minister Andrew Little said he understood small business owners' disappointment in the government, and said he shared the frustration over the delays to being able to start distributing the allocated funds.

The curse of Kiwibuild lives on.

Kiwi's need to take off their rose tinted glasses and demand effective management. In the real world if you do not proform, you are sacked. Sadly we get, Oh well you gave it your beat shot, someone else is going to have a crack now.
This is not saying that National can do better, more so that we demand effective management full stop from any party steering the ship.

How do you get into the ears of 49 invisible LIST MP's and let them know your concerns. They have 49 votes on the floor of the Parliament. That's a big percentage of the power and its un-elected - its annointed

Cronyism, in New Zealand? Surely not? We are least corrupt among nations, after all. We just call the bribes "fees", simples.

We don't have much corruption but we have a stack-load of cronyism. Arguably worse, in some ways.

true - the old boys network in NZ is cringe inducing. Having had a spouse work in the higher end of the finance and construction industries the social functions were an eye opener of the who's who variety.

Maybe we need to reduce the number of MPs by quite a lot, then pay them quite a bit more? Less quantity, more quality, and more accountability.

1 MP per 100,000 population.

Ahhh yes, that RNZ article shows a whole bunch of out of touch landlords demanding ever increasing rents likely to pay for their ever increasing lifestyles... hey guys, there's a pandemic on show some lenience huh?

Some of them have no hearts...

Yeah, in the meantime the government has passed into legislation the covid-19 fast track consenting legislation. Of questionable value. Probably so Twyford can beat his chest again and say they are 'doing things at pace and scale', 'cutting through the red tape', and 'building up and out' (ah, don't know what happened to his election promise of 'smashing the RUB').
Politics over real world outcomes....

Not even sure why he's apologising. Not really the governments problem and wouldn't interferring amount to the dreaded communism. If a interest free loan is no good, your customer numbers have fallen of a cliff and the landlord is a d#$k then it's probably time to go.

""The US action against countries who try to get tax their tech giants continues. They have announced retaliation against France for trying to get Facebook, Apple and Google to pay some tax. ""
We ought to support France. Not because we are anti-American or remotely pro-French but because capitalism doesn't work when there are monopolies. Come to that socialism doesn't work well with monopolies. Note the USA's economy was helped when they broke up Standard Oil. Time to breakup Amazon, Facebook, Google - not worried about Apple because they have to compete.

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