A review of things you need to know before you go home on Thursday; more grunty TD cuts, record GDP fall, huge money chases NZGB tenders, banks pass stress tests, NZD soft, & more

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Thursday; more grunty TD cuts, record GDP fall, huge money chases NZGB tenders, banks pass stress tests, NZD soft, & more
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Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
None to report today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Both BNZ and the Cooperative Bank also reduced rates today. So did the Bank of India. And now, so has TSB. Update: And now ANZ has moved down too.

RECORD GDP FALL
The -12.2% shrinkage of the economy in the June quarter is 'by far the largest on record in New Zealand'. The fall is in line with what major bank economists forecast. But the fall was much less than forecast by Treasury and the RBNZ economists. The biggest hits took place in the industries where working from home simply wasn’t an option. More than -20% declines in activity were reported for mining (-44%), construction (-26%), retail trade and accommodation (-25%), transport and warehousing (-39%) and arts and recreation (-24%). Going the other way, "financial services' actually rose +0.7%. And relatively small declines were reported for agriculture (-0.4%), rental, hiring and real estate services (-2.9%) and public administration and safety (-2.9%). And just for the record, the Australian contraction in Q2 on the same basis was -7%. But that was before the latest Victorian lockdown.

FEWER NEW HOUSES BUILT
The Q2-2020 data also reveals the lowest investment in new housing for a quarter in seven years. And that is a trend that has been deteriorating sharply in all of 2020.

BOND TENDERS POPULAR, FIRST WITH NEGATIVE YIELD
Three times as much money was chasing the $950 mln on offer today in the latest NZ Government bond tender, leaving $1.9 bln unsatisfied. And that money was quite prepared to bid very low for their share. The April 2023 $450 mln tranche went with an average yield of -0.02%, lower than the last equivalent tender (+0.08%) and the first time NZGBs have have a negative yield. The April 2029 $350 mln tranche went for just +0.04% yield, also lower than the prior equivalent one. And the April 2023 $150 mln tranche, which had the strongest demand, went with a yield of 0.77%.

COMING THROUGH 'RELATIVELY WELL'
Reserve Bank stress testing of NZ banks shows them able to maintain required regulatory capital levels and continue lending in a scenario significantly worse than what the regulator expects COVID-19 to cause.

A PART-TIME LABOUR FORCE BOUNCEBACK
The August labour market data for Australia was out today showing a fall in their jobless rate from 7.5% to 6.8%. More than +111,000 new jobs were created but more than two-thirds of them were part-time positions. Their underemployment rate is still over 11%. Of course, none of this is helped by the Victorian lockdown.

TOUGHER FOR AUSSIE LANDLORDS
Rents are falling and vacancy rates are rising in Australia, especially Sydney and Melbourne. And the effect is expected to last for many years.

GOLD PRICE FALLING SHARPLY
In Asian markets, the gold price has fallen sharply after the New York markets closed. It is currently at US$1939 which is -US$20 lower than the closing New York price. And that was -US$3 lower than the earlier closing London price of US$1962. Silver is following the gold trend.

EQUITIES UPDATE
On Wall Street, the S&P500 fell off sharply at the end of its session today, ending down -0.5%. The futures market suggests it will open tomorrow a full -1% lower again. That same vibe is affecting open markets in our timezone with Shanghai down -0.5% at the open, Hong Kong down -1.1% at its open, and Tokyo down -0.7%. The ASX200 is currently -0.3% in early afternoon trade, and the NZX50 Capital Index is down -0.5%.

SWAP RATES LITTLE-CHANGED
We don’t have the final data for today yet and if it is significant we will update it here. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 0.30%. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is down -4 bps at 0.91%. The China Govt ten year bond is unchanged at 3.16%. The New Zealand Govt ten year is now down -3 bps at 0.58% although most of that happened in offshore markets last night before the GDP release. And since the RBNZ data at 0.58% it has fallen another -2 bps to 0.56%. The US Govt ten year is up +1 bps at 0.68%.

NZD SOFT
The Kiwi dollar is softer after the GDP release and now at 66.9 USc. Against the Aussie we are little-changed at 92 AUc. Against the euro we are firm at 56.9 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is now at 70 and a small fall.

BITCOIN FIRM
Bitcoin is firm today at US$10,949 which is a net gain of +2% although the current price is a little lower than the US$11,089 it reached a few hours ago.

This soil moisture chart is animated here.

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

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36 Comments

18
up

I had a long talk to a friend today, like us he has got so used to being at home, he now hardly ever goes to town. It was along enough shutdown to change habits.
It's going to take a bit to get the economy fired back up again.

13
up

a good observation but its far bigger than new habits
its income and discretionary spend thats increasingly going to be in trouble
Not to mention all those sectors like tourism where the future aint what it used to be

17
up

For my wife and I Covid has had none to minimal financial impact. If anything - like NZ as a whole we are earning the same but spending way less. No overseas trip. Dining at neighbours' rather than restaurants. Out walking instead of driving. Online supermarket shopping. I agree Andrewj - habits have changed.

25
up

A big problem for the economy I see is that a lot people have realised how to live within their means

Oh, the irony in that statement...

Because every person who has learned to "live within their means" will be so much better off. In fact, it's the first step on the path to growing one's net worth.

Not to mention possible benefits for our environment and planet from us not buying crap we don't need with money we don't have!

..sounds like you were talking to me! But don't think so.

Weed dealers have never been busier.

If only there was a way for the government to benefit from this...

Easy, vote yes in the referendum.

The April 2023 $450 mln tranche went with an average yield of -0.02%, lower than the last equivalent tender (+0.08%)

And yet the interpolated mid outright IR swap moved from -0.49bps to 7.69bps today.

Seems we are seeing a steepening at the long end with 33s now over 30bps above the 29s. Do you get the feeling RBNZ are reluctant to use powder on the long end given it seems there is a lack of appetite for corp borrowing in that tenure ?

What's the duration of an average fixed term mortgage - ~2.5 years or less?

The RBNZ progressively buys fewer bonds as the duration extends - 23's get lots of attention.

Admittedly, there are more 23's currently being issued and outstanding than the 29s and 33s.

Good point but youd kinda hope RBNZ arent exclusively focused on lowering mortgage rates, allowing corporates access to cheaper LT funding might possibly be a priority ;)

I believe increasing the present value of asset cash flows to encourage higher capitalisation by the already wealthy, together with low mortgage costs is the declared aim of Central Bank LASP (QE) operations. Listed corporations also benefit with lower capital costs, SMEs not so much.

That would sadly make sense if they are as you suggest focusing on the shorter duration of the curve.

I find it quite discouraging.

If the recent falls in mortgage rates and rises in residential property have taught us nothing else, it has confirmed that investor appetite is driving the residential market even higher given the lack of any factors in the real economy driving prices higher.

If the primary aim of QE is indeed to support (and raise) asset values the wealth disparity will only worsen. Hardly a fitting epitaph for a Labour government.

In no time, the Congressman would zero in on the crux of the issue. It’s called “stimulus” over and over, yet there wasn’t any discernable evidence the economy had been stimulated. Quite the contrary; all the data agreed the “recovery” had been the slowest (worst) in history, which, following the biggest contraction (to that point) since the 1930’s, had made it the worst of every possible world.

This despite what Fed reports showed had been $1.7 trillion in so-called excess liquidity in the form of bank reserves. These had been created and maintained as an accounting byproduct of quantitative easing (QE) as well as Twist. With the economy already betrayed by its curious lack of recovery up to the middle of 2012, there were the added prospects for it to suffer another setback (which it did later in the year).

Indeed, by that time talk of QE3 was everywhere. Federal Reserve officials including Bernanke were no longer denying the possibility (QE3 was announced just two months later). You could at least understand Congressman Hensarling’s indignation in this context.

“MR. HENSARLING. And so I am trying to figure out, what is it that--on the Federal Reserve menu, what would two more Operation Twists and two more QEs, even if you supersized them, achieved that haven't already been achieved?”

That’s what science is; you try something and if it doesn’t produce the desired results you know it didn’t work. You stop doing it. In terms of QE, a third go-round would’ve at least proved it couldn’t have been “quantitative.”

Bank reserves at any level, Bernanke replied, “are not the issue.”

“CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. The issue is the state of financial conditions. And we are still able to lower interest rates, improve, broadly speaking, asset prices, and that provides some [stimulus] incentive.” [my emphasis] Link

Is the NZ Labour party more than "Third Way" liberalism practised by Clinton and Blair?

Labour-Green housing humanitarian crisis incoming.

This is despite the punters who believed the rhetoric 100k houses built this government will go down in history as exacerbating the divide more than any other.

Don't agree. The Key government will be extremely hard to beat in widening the gulf between rich and poor.

The -12.2% shrinkage of the economy in the June quarter is 'by far the largest on record in New Zealand'
Finance minister says figures don’t reflect the thousands of lives saved and reduced burden on health system

11
up

Whew. Lucky us. Think of all the road deaths avoided too during Level 4. In fact, why open up ever again, at all, and expose ourselves to all that real world risk? Let's all just stay home forever. For our own safety of course.

Better still just don't get out of bed. Just because all the freezing and cheese workers and associated farmers, and all the people associated with them kept working flat out, and got our balance of trade to a record surplus, and not one of them caught covid, doesn't mean we should take the risk.

The August labour market data for Australia was out today showing a fall in their jobless rate from 7.5% to 6.8%

The workforce particpation in Australia is still 1.2pp below its March level, so the labour market data is less promising than it looks.
Also the fact that the country received bipartisan support to extend JobKeeper and other subsidies until March 2021 says there's very little confidence in the economy's ability to recover from their political establishment.

Rents are falling and vacancy rates are rising in Australia, especially Sydney and Melbourne
Wait until more newly-built properties come onto the market over the next few months to see the real damage.

latest DFA podcast is a goody in this repect.

NZ in recession now
NZ treasury expect contraction of 16%.
While Australia contracts 7%
Sky News on NZ GDP.
https://youtu.be/LLe7ZY8d_dU

GR' comparisons are poor.
NZ does not have the bankable resources of Oz.
Many of other figures he picks, are not calculated the same ways.

What do you think of these apples!
Grant, half of those are oranges.

We got gib board houses man. With real paint. And brick facing. Who needs iron ore with deez assets? You know how much someone will pay for these soggy a** houses?

Dampness provides atmosphere.

In Ponsonby they call it 'the morning spritzer"

Resources bankable?

No - you extract and send them away. You get bank-held digits in return - Jack and the Magic Beans territory. I wouldn't live in Australia with Climate tracking like it is - it's becoming unsurvivable.

Yet some still think money is more important (and in doing so, need to deny more and more).

16
up

Don't you ever get tired of narratives based on guilt? Church beat you to it 2000 years ago.

When Collins talks of the stream of educated kiwis to Australia. In the above Sky News clip.
The comment is following empirical evidence
https://youtu.be/--F5clcuHZs
VDH, N Ferguson, J Cochrane.
This debunks the COL progressive path.

If you want to hire a u haul to California, its free. Everyone is leaving.

The empirical evidence that California is is showing the terrible path the PM and Shaw & Co are planning.

Agreed. Such a good time to be a renter in Australia.

Prices are falling, the shoe boxes are offering a months free rent, more Airbnb properties being offered as rentals and eff all people applying.

Its only going to get worse when the tenancy protection scheme ceases at the end of this month.

I am surprised we haven't seen the same in Auckland

The absurdity of the recent price rises has actually made me more certain that the other shoe will drop. It’s a toppiness that betrays its own fragility.

It is a little surprising, could potentially still happen....

Here is something good a clear eyed debate, for & against
Are we over reacting to Covid.

Plenty of discussion of NZ.
https://youtu.be/PvIePoEWr_M
Munk podcast Debate
Has the scientific community over reacted to the threat of Covid-19.

i watched a medical guy explain in lay men terms,
normal flu has a R of 1.3 to 2 and normally infects after onset of symptoms so one person can in a cycle infect around 14 people in 10 days
covid has a R of over 3 and can infect before symptoms so in that same time frame it can infect 59000 people
we have seen from melbourne and our own cluster here how hard it is to ring fence a break out without the help of restrictions, not talking lockdowns, but social distance , people getting tested, masks, tracking and tracing within 48 hours and quarantining.
it is a disease we need to learn to live with

Fewer houses being built / less money investment in houses... ='s time to build a couple since they will be in short supply.