OPEC revises oil demand down again; US consumer expectations weak; China house prices up; industrial production down everywhere; UST 10y at 0.67%; oil prices soft but gold up; NZ$1 = 67.1 USc; TWI-5 = 70

OPEC revises oil demand down again; US consumer expectations weak; China house prices up; industrial production down everywhere; UST 10y at 0.67%; oil prices soft but gold up; NZ$1 = 67.1 USc; TWI-5 = 70

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news asset prices are still rising even as economic activity slips.

First up, OPEC has revised its forecast for oil demand down, and it forecast of oil supply up. Oddly they don't see future prices falling however.

US consumer expectations for household spending, household income, and labour market expectations all remain weak compared to the year-ago levels, even if they were slightly better in August than July.

In the Western US, weather conditions are getting even worse for firefighting. This emergency will take a toll on an American economy already struggling with the pandemic.

In China, house prices rose a bit more than expected in August but the gains were relatively modest. Annual gains however are encouraging buyers. The year-on-year range over 70 major cities is from +17% to -3%, but Beijing's +3.4% is similar to most.

And staying in China, the results of their crackdown on peer-to-peer lenders are in. There are only 15 left of the 5000+ who sprung up in 2017. It is a financial sector 'innovation' that quickly ran it course, leaving just a tiny rump.

Around the world, there was a whole set of industrial production data released, and none of it was pretty. The EU said theirs was down -7.7% year-on-year, Japan reported a -15.5% dive, and Hong Kong said their declined -5.1% on that same basis.

On Wall Street today, the S&P500 is up +1.3% in afternoon trade. Overnight, European markets closed mixed in minor gains and losses. Yesterday, Shanghai ended the day up +0.6%, Hong Kong was also up +0.6%, and Tokyo rose +0.7% on the day. The ASX200 ended up +0.7% and the NZX50 Capital Index rose a more modest +0.4%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 29,114,000 and up +283,000 in one day. Global deaths now exceed 926,000 (+5,000).

Just under a quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up +28,000 to 6,723,000. Their death total is now 198,700 and still rising at about +1000 a day (and now 600/mln. Only Belgium, Spain and the UK are western countries that have a higher death rate).

In Australia, there have now been 26,692 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is only +41 more cases from yesterday and only from Victoria and NSW. Deaths however have now topped 816 (+6). Their recovery rate is up over 88% now.

The UST 10yr yield is marginally softer at just under 0.67%. Their 2-10 rate curve is unchanged at +53 bps, their 1-5 curve is at +12 bps, while their 3m-10 year curve is still just over +57 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is up +5 bps at 0.95%. The China Govt 10 year yield is up +2 bps at 3.17%. However, the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is still unchanged at 0.60%.

The price of gold will start today at US$1954/oz which is up +US$14 today. Silver is up proportionally more.

Oil prices will start today at just under US$37.50/bbl in the US while the international price is now just over US$39.50/bbl. These levels just a little lower than yesterday.

The Kiwi dollar will start today at 67.1 USc and nearly a +½c firming from this time yesterday. Against the Australian dollar we are up a full +½c at 92 AUc. Against the euro we are also firmer at 56.6 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is now at 70.

The bitcoin price is also higher today, now at US$10,705 and that is a gain of +4.0% since this time yesterday. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »

The 'US$' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'AU$' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'TWI' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥en' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥uan' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '€uro' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'GBP' chart will be drawn here.
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'Bitcoin' chart will be drawn here.
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


The NZ election doesn’t seem to be causing any economic uncertainty - may be a foregone conclusion that Labour will sail in and business as usual.

Unprecedented times

I did see rumour grist that National internal heads are already engaging in post-election succession planning, having written this one off. Look for the revolving doors to start slowly spinning up to speed.

In fairness, I'm not sure it's an election a party with a sense of self preservation would want to win. Depends how long the ship can be held back from hitting the flan.

If national have any sense they will keep Judes in. She will be quite good in opposition. Look at succession close to the next election. The problem is of course the hope that they have any sense.

Agree. Keep her on and bring in a successor mid term.

Mortgage are you thinking just home loans.

For you, check the business survey (non-bank).

Sail in? Probably and on a fair wind too as the forecast has it now. Sail on? Depends on who else is on board. Hopefully just their own crew. Haven’t voted Labour since twice for Lange and swore would never do so again after the Clark/Cullen tax grab. But paradoxically thinking of doing so now to achieve the above hope. Sure are strange times!

I expect the block chain to go the same way as peer to peer lending. How often do you hear of block chain now? Its Y2K marketing all over again.

Whats the block chain?

Yes, it does seem to have been a lot of hype and little substance. AI and machine learning seem to have a lot more substance than the blcokchain but you do not hear about them in the news. The less substance the more noise and vice versa

Yes, it does seem to have been a lot of hype and little substance

Are you trolling? The blockchain has enabled Bitcoin, the most revolutionary currency in our lifetimes and perhaps in history.

Yes the blockchain enabled bitcoin. But nobody actually uses it as a currency, except perhaps for drug dealers, child pornographers, and blackmailing hackers. Yay, what a win. Oh, and a bunch of speculation. Yay, another win.

No difference at all to 99%+ of people.

But nobody actually uses it as a currency

I think you mean to say as a 'means of exchange.' Others use it as a 'store of value' of which there is nothing even in the same league since its emergence. I know, you probably read in Granny Herald that BTC is the work of the devil and could go to zero. The average schmuk had no idea how the internet would transform his or her life in the early 90s. Similarly with BTC and blockchain.

Can't be a currency if it's not a medium of exchange, at least in my book. Just semantics though. Similarly "speculation" vs "store of value".

Nice try on the granny herald, average schmuk ad hom though. Keep to the issues please.

Keep to the issues please, not average schmuk ad hom:

But nobody actually uses it as a currency, except perhaps for drug dealers, child pornographers, and blackmailing hackers

I apologise if this was taken as an insult. What I mean is that my understanding is that bitcoin's use a medium of exchange is dominated by illicit use. Is that wrong? Though I suppose by its very nature reliable statistics are going to be hard to come by.

I have never looked in to the breakdown of use, although I did see a bunch of expansion of places accepting it as payment at one stage. I always assumed it was probably for many people (including the larger players who likely drove the bubble) primarily a store of wealth and a speculative investment.

J.C. apologises if you took the Granny Herald as an insult too ;-)

Illegal activity maybe its falling down. If the global leaders decide that it is a thorn in their sides, they could pull the pin on it and make it worthless.

Illegal activity maybe its falling down. If the global leaders decide that it is a thorn in their sides, they could pull the pin on it and make it worthless.

You mean like the confiscation of gold? You cannot "shut down" the block chain. Furthermore, even if the U.S. and China "banned" the mining of and holding of BTC, it could actually make the currency more valuable.

Good effort boys, but you just cant educate some people.
Have a read of this and tell me what you think

Might be more like RFID. Quite widely used but people don't know they're using it.


It a crazy twist of events (which will blow the minds of our resident peak oil enthusiasts) - BP has just released its 2020 energy outlook which predicts oil demand to decline significantly over the next 30 years as we transition to electrification.
This is not peak oil as a result of extraction limitation, but a peak oil in terms of consumption demand. Woah, whoever would have predicted that! (apart from those pesky economists, of course!).

The same goes for food production. They are multiple technologies being developed that will allow growing food in arid, inhospitable places using salt water! It is already happening in Australia (15% of their tomatoes are grown using sea water), UAE (small scale project using both sea water and nano-clay), Israel and Jordan.

Do you know what happens to all the salt after its purified??

If it happens, I think it will be a significant event in human history. Why? I can't think of another time when we have decided the cheapest, easiest to get form of fuel is not the one we should be using, due to environmental concerns. This has happened with a few chemicals before, but nothing as significant as oil. Coal is up next, we have almost done away with it in many countries, but really just exported our coal use to other countries (see China). Such a struggle to get there.

One of the turbines supplied is a gas turbine (the other is a steam turbine). I would not have thought they were the most efficient way to produce power in a global warming world? Lots of fossil fuel to drive them either as natural gas or oil.

What do you propose NZ employ to power EVs?


Tiwai? In the future it may be possible to export electric power by ship much like we do with oil today.

ZS - it takes energy to ship energy, and it's energy we need. Compact energy (oil, coal) pays to ship. From there on down, less so. EROEI is the issue, not to be confused with money.

Won't happen - your current oil-backed BAU is faltering already, even at this energy level.

Use all the cheap renewable clean green South Island hydro power. Better still, charge the customers a price that reflects the cost of bringing the power to them. If you live close to a dam, cheap. If far away, say on a different island, expensive.

Geothermal or hydroelectric have to be at the top of the list, possibly tidal or wave too (but the last three all have a significant environmental impact). But if we want to not build more dams, then we need to consider the latest technology in nuclear power plants. I read an article on 'modular' reactors designed around being able to produce circa 300 to 700 MW which look like they would do a pretty good job with little environmental impact (until you have to dispose of the spent fuel!).

Possibly the deniers having to face the truth of global warming? The bush fires are a little hard to ignore and deny. Hurricane frequency seems to be increasing (just a perception), and sea level rise - the coming collapse of glaciers. The big question now is, is it in time or too little too late?

With these bush fires, how much forest has been destroyed in the last two years versus the gains made in other parts of the world?

Its ok we can relax.
NIWA scientists tell us its an issue, but not the pressing issue media stars make it.



And here is the ecan, Canterbury climate model to 2100.
Remember its a consolidation of 6 out of 40 models, selected by local scientists as the 6 that best fit their idea of climate, then pressed down to regions.


What's good about the ECAN model results that suggests we should relax or not do anything?

- By 2090, up 0.5 to 2°C (if we cut emissions) or up 1.5 to 3.5°C (if we don't).
- Expect more potential for drought across most of Canterbury.
- Sea level up 0.5m in 50 years and up 1.2 metres in 100 years (if we don't cut emissions).
- High tides get higher. At 0.65 metres of sea level rise, every high tide is above the spring tide mark (compared to 10% now).

Coupled with the fact our modern consumption is causing mass extinction of animal life, we face serious issues. Even just the merest smidgen of concern for what we pass on to following generations would suggest some urgency for reducing pollution, overconsumption, and negative impact on the environment and flora and fauna we depend on.

Re read the report.
More rain, more growing degree days.
Worst case, north canterbury similar to Hawkes Bay.
There are issues, but climate change is not top of the list, crowd out everything else.

I did. That's only one portion of the segment on rainfall. Seems a bit optimistic and simplistic to only pull out the rainfall specifically - and from the Canterbury region in particular - to argue climate change won't have serious and widespread negative effects. Like an economist too wedded to ceteris paribus.

And couple that with the prediction of more drought.

- Most of the region can expect small changes in annual rainfall, up or down 5%.
- By 2040, autumn might be dryer in the Mackenzie Basin, with up to 10% less rain.
- By 2090, winters could be wetter in many eastern, western and southern parts of the region, with 15 to 40% more rain.
- By 2090, Banks Peninsula and many inland areas might get 5 to 15% less rain (if we don't cut emissions).

The thing to remember is there is significant lag in the climate system, somewhere between 20-100 years, depending on what you look at. For instance, even if we stopped polluting tomorrow, air temperatures will continue rising for around a century. This inertia is often overlooked by the layman, but shows why we need to stop polluting ASAP.

Note the need of the resident spoilers, immediately below, to deflect the discourse.

For the record, peak conventional oil was 2005/6.

We can know this; we cherry-pick the best, first. In energy terms, best means best EROEI (best energy return for the energy you have to input - irrespective of dollars). We are down to fracturing rock, kerogen, tar-sands. All significantly lower EROEI compared to, say, Ghawar.

The problem is twofold now; we will end up on renewables by default (all else being depletable). They don't have the EROEI, so we won't be doing as much, indeed without Fossil Energy we will be doing bu--er all. So all the debt-issued forward betting (issued via a blind belief in the dismal 'science' which assures us the world is infinite, on the basis of progress thus far) is increasingly in jeopardy.

Time to update your data, I think.
Unless you want to dig up a newspaper article from 1930 and argue that peak oil was actually in 1928, immediately prior to the great depression.

Depletion is time-progressive.

Why, oh why, don't they teach reality as part of ecionomics?

Economics doesn't teach scarcity as a reality?
Interesting opinion. Obviously not an informed one but, hey, you are entitled to it.

murray86 - have a read up on prescribed burning and forest management. Blaming climate change is a great way for public officials to pass the buck.

“At three million acres burned this year, we’re still well below what historically burned,” said Hankins. “But the difference now is that all the burning is happening in a short period of weeks and months.” Starved of fire for decades, the land is now bingeing on it."

"Another main focus of Forest Service efforts was reducing uncontrolled wildfires that were common prior to the 1930s. Curtailing the 8 to 20 million hectares that consistently burned annually, mostly on private lands, was considered a prerequisite for the long-term management of forests and grasslands — both public and private.

The focus of these efforts was on protecting all lands from wildfire, regardless of their ownership; but systematic control became effective only during the 1930s, when large public employment programmes were established. By the 1960s, the area burned by wildfire had declined by 90 percent compared to the 1930s (Figure 2)."

Our perceptions on climate change are totally and completely controlled by our sources of information on it. And anyone who trusts anyone who uses modelling just has to read about the Covid "modelling" rubbish spouted as truth ad nauseam all this year, by people whose wealth and careers and ambitions relied on specific results of the modelling used, regardless of what actually happened.

Ecan don't have their own model.
They have mashed together 6.
6 out if 40, because they say they don't have the money to buy rights to all 40.
So some people picked the 6 they think best represent NZ climate as they see it.
Then the mashed up model gets somehow pressed down to regional areas and counties in NZ.

Re covid models, see OB1 is claiming NZ looking at 2,500 deaths, far fewer than 20,000 or 80,000 from February & March.
I am no fan of Neil Furguson (the other one way better) but that one guy got under the skin of many many people.

Still reaching the wrong conclusions i see Nymad
There is shortage of consumption demand ... but there is a massive ceiling on affordability
You cant magically switch the world economy to electrification ... it costs more - we don't have the infrastructure in place

So you are saying the economists believe we can transition to a more expensive alternative just as we head into a great depression?

"BP has just released its 2020 energy outlook which predicts oil demand to decline significantly over the next 30 years as we transition to electrification"

If this is indeed their conclusion (?) then they are idiots or selling hopium.
The world economy needs an affordable mix of energy inputs - There is no nice transition to cheaper electricity . Do you really think Coal/Oil/Natural Gas etc can happily lose economies to scale and take lower prices as we merrily transition....

Check out Manapouri or Roxburgh, or Cromwell. The actual cost of getting electrical energy there is far cheaper than getting oil fuel there. It is only politics that prevent everyone close to energy sources from benefitting from this proximity.

But Cromwell isnt the world economy
And those Cromwellians are as dependent on all energy sources as the next man

"Imagine a world where Stockholm had caved to international pressure and fallen into line with everyone else. In such a world, politicians and public health officials could get away with claiming that but for their closures and crackdowns, things would have been unimaginably worse. The disease, they would tell us, would have spread exponentially. Millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, would have died.

But they can’t make that claim when we can all see the control in the experiment. Stockholm’s streets are filled with relaxed people congregating in cafes without face masks. You and I might find those images uplifting, but to the epidemiologists and officials who staked everything on closing their economies, Sweden is the specter at the feast.

...If you flatten the curve, you don’t reduce the area underneath the curve. Some countries have chosen to string things out for longer than others. But in the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the eventual number of deaths won’t vary much.
...The infection and fatality graphs for Sweden and the United Kingdom look almost identical. You would be hard pushed, looking at them, to guess which nation closed its shops, schools, and offices and which did not. Nor is there much correlation when we look at different states in the United States — nor, indeed, in other parts of the world. Peru, which had an eye-wateringly strict lockdown, is faring far worse than neighboring Brazil, whose President Jair Bolsonaro was attacked around the world for his laissez-faire approach.

When all this is over, we may well find that the biggest international variable isn’t the number of preventable deaths. It is the damage to the living."

interesting you say such.
Are you following our Dr Sam Bailey.
A great Kiwi GP.

Great communicator, like an antidote to the PM & her gloom and poor comms always talking over Dr B.

Vit D.

If only MOH would draw on her and others in NZ during the 1 pms.
Comms would be crystal. All the reporters would love her too, no question.

Yeah - imagine a world where New Zealand had 2500 dead. They're only people, mind you, and businessmen are making money. That's the important thing.

As opposed to 185,000 kiwis becoming unemployed?


Sweden didn't escape the economic impacts, unemployment has risen to almost 9%.

Also Sweden GDP -8.6% in the April-to-June period.

So you think we have capped covid deaths blobbles? Being linked to the global economy Sweden was always going to have an economic contraction. Just like in '58 and '68 when a similar number of people died.
"...If you flatten the curve, you don’t reduce the area underneath the curve. Some countries have chosen to string things out for longer than others. But in the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the eventual number of deaths won’t vary much."
"The outbreak started in China, where it quickly engulfed the city of Wuhan before racing across the globe on commercial flights and ships, eventually killing more than 1 million people, over 100,000 of them in the U.S.

The novel virus triggered a state of emergency in New York City; caused so many deaths in Berlin that corpses were stored in subway tunnels; overwhelmed London’s hospitals; and in some areas of France left half of the workforce bedridden. Severely ill patients suffering from acute pneumonia were put on ventilators, often in vain. It was the late 1960s, and the Hong Kong flu was sweeping the world.

That pandemic raged over three years, yet is largely forgotten today, a testament both to our resilience and to how societies are now approaching a similar crisis in a much different way."

They don't have our 'luxury' of having people on work visas in many of the jobs that are lost.

The problem you have is that we have to imagine it. Because it didn't happen, did it. And there is a far bigger school of thought that is not allowed to be mentioned in the media that the whole Covid thing is just a beat up anyway. Time will tell.

The original apocalyptic projections and deaths rates were quickly found based on false premises but, as you say, still used as a "but for" argument. I also recall a mathematician (not claiming any health expertise) who modelled Covid path in multiple jurisdictions with different responses, and found the disease tracked a remarkably similar trajectory in all. But like everything else that didn't fit the narrative it was ignored. After the self-congratulatory books the next few years, the ones after that will be most interesting, especially from the social historians and behavioural scientists.

You seem to have Stockholm Syndrome...
Peru was so hard hit because only 40% of the population has a bank account, everyone had to go to the super spreading centres (AKA bank) to pick up their welfare payments.

Further news of economic benefits of isolation working out being less. Less than PM & GR assumed.

1. Looks like some Bledisloe games will be lost to Australia because of COL quarantine

2. Fewer Americas Cup related because of COL quarantine.

And we are looking at NZ GDP falling further and faster than all the States in Australia.
To mortgages point above, they are taking out risk & uncertainty to the upside.

Dave Rennie said they wouldn't play unless the date was changed because the quarantine rules gave them insufficient muster and training time. Today, low and behold, the PM reveals the quarantine process for the Wallabies is changing. I'm sure that's just SANZAAR politics as well, right?

PM has a credibility problem.
Or is it a delivery problem?

Head tilt for the first. Shoulder droop for the second.

Assets prices up, industrial production down, are we going to have inflation issues soon?

Or even hyper !

Its a recipe for no income
which spells deflation in commodities
And you cant eat a house

Here's a little bit of news to escape from all the crazy bull**** that we call 'economy' in 2020:


Not conclusive, but very very likely. If true, this is the news of the century.

Approx 200 billion stars in our galaxy alone. Approx 200 billion galaxies in our observable universe. Could be infinately more beyond. Could just so easily be multiverses forever too. So many planets its hard to imagine, approx 20% in goldilocks zones. We are not alone, to think we are shows our main limitation - "the human ego".

a few ammonium eating micro-organisms are not company - of course you are odds on right but how many of these 200 billion civilizations will ever get out of their petri dish without consuming themselves back into oblivion.

Yesterday the radiowaves lit up about changing the name of NZ to "Aotearoa". Talkback Radio loves topics that are divisive and has the chance of 50% opposing and the other 50% the otherway

At 4:15 pm HDPA interviewed Dame Tariana Turia DNZM (she of the royal appendage) speaking on behalf of the Maori Party
She is hostile claiming "it is our land" - we'll do what we like with it
Wonder if she will volunteer to relinquish her monarchist title

Give an inch....

Yea your are right. They should never have let those europeans set foot on their land cause from that moment they took ever square mile they could.

You can't undo history. The best course of action is to try to live together peacefully and co-operate.


A group of private tertiary institutions wants foreign students who study online from overseas to have the right to work permits in this country when they graduate.

Private tertiary institutes want work permits for students

The veneer on the edu-migration industry gets thinner and thinner by the day.

Why would they need that? People study in New Zealand for the first class education they receive from these institutions. Surely there's no need for other bribes.

Forget the "military industrial" complex. NZ has an "educational institution" comlex

Another lobby group - Who are the members of "Quality Tertiary Institutes"?
Never heard of them before
But they can get RNZ on their speed dial
They're holding their hand out for $10 million government money


Answered my own question

AGC Yoobee School of Design
Future Skills
IPU New Zealand
International Travel College of New Zealand
Laidlaw College (christian church based)
Media Design School
New Zealand Management Academies
New Zealand School of Education
Pacific International Hotel Management School
Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design

3 Design, 1 Travel, 1 Hospitality (Hotel), just what we don't need at this time

Ha. The name is a bit of a giveaway, isn't it?

I always appreciate a sense of irony.

Heres the institutions this Quality Tertiary Institutions represent:

Auckland Institute of Studies, Auckland
Cornell Institute of Business and Technology, Auckland
Le Cordon Bleu, Wellington
Ntec Tertiary Group, Auckland
AGI Education, Auckland
New Zealand Career College, Auckland
New Zealand Management Academies, Auckland
New Zealand Tertiary College, Auckland
Newton College of Business and Technology, Auckland
North Shore International Academy, Auckland
Pacific International Hotel Management School, New Plymouth
UUNZ Institute of Business, Auckland
Queenstown Resort College, Dunedin
New Zealand Institute of Studies (NZIOS), Auckland
Royal Business College, Auckland
New Zealand School of Education, Auckland

Wow, some real 'quality' institutions on that list. The sooner they don't exist the better.

My personal favourite is Queenstown Resort College......in Dunedin.

"asset prices up, economic activity down".

This sums up the craziness of the current nonsensical settings of reckless QE and zero interest policies, where over-inflated assets such as housing (and other asset classes too) remain artificially blown beyond any economic sense, all regardless of what happens to the real economy.

On thermal energy: That plasma stuff is cooled and put back into the ground. I have read of one extraction place that died after a few years. It is not really the perpetual energy source it is made out to be.