China sees Golden Week boom coming; but mortgage and grain pressures building; US sentiment less negative; US farm subsidies rise; UST 10y at 0.70%; oil stable and gold down; NZ$1 = 67.7 USc; TWI-5 = 70.5

China sees Golden Week boom coming; but mortgage and grain pressures building; US sentiment less negative; US farm subsidies rise; UST 10y at 0.70%; oil stable and gold down; NZ$1 = 67.7 USc; TWI-5 = 70.5

Here's our summary of key economic events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news China has a big problem with mortgage foreclosures.

But first, in a sign of a recovered economy, the upcoming Golden Week holiday (October 1-7) is expected to raise the total number of domestic flight trips made during the holiday to more than 15 million, a +10% rise from last year. Of course, some of that will be because many international destinations are not open, but still, the bulk of Golden Week travel is domestic anyway.

And staying in China, new official data claims that their digital economy accounted for over two-thirds of China's GDP growth in 2019 from about one third of all its economic activity.

But all is not well there. In 2018, a data service reported 180,000 home foreclosures in China. In 2019 the same source reported 300,000. To the middle of September 2020 they are saying 1.25 mln homes were foreclosed on by banks in China as vast numbers of people struggled with meeting mortgage payments due to "deteriorating job prospects and shrinking income". How credible the source is, is up for conjecture, but it is part of the giant Alibaba service. You would think they would know.

And the grain price rise in China is attracting speculators, accentuating their problems with low domestic supply and high import demand.

In Japan, like everyone else, they are making no progress reigniting inflation, partly because of fiscal policies. Japan's core consumer prices fell at their fastest pace in almost four years in August, dragged down mostly by government-sponsored discounts for domestic travel aimed at supporting the battered tourism sector. Now, also like everyone else, they are shifting the goalposts to include jobs growth as a core monetary policy mandate.

In the US, the latest poll of consumer sentiment remains very negative year-on-year (-15%) but improved in September from August. Things are even more negative year-on-year about current economic conditions (-19%) but less so for future expectations (-12%).

The US Fed balance sheet is rising again, up +$54 bln in the last week to September 16 and the fastest rise in 15 weeks. In the period from mid-May to early July, it was well over $7 tln and then fell back steadily. Now it is back up sharply to US$7.06 tln. A rise like this indicates the Fed mandarins think their economy and financial system is in need of enhanced support.

And surging deposits and declining lending are driving banks to dramatically increase their holdings of US Treasury bonds, underpinning support for their bond market at a time of unprecedented government borrowing. And that support in significant.

The US Administration raised its agricultural subsidies overnight by another US$14 bln in what has been described a "vote-buying".

Prospects for economic support from Congressional fiscal action is fading fast as Republicans block any meaningful aid. Oddly Democrats, and now the Trump Administration seem willing to act.

The S&P500 futures trading suggests that Wall Street will open -1% lower tomorrow.

In Australia, which currently has about 1 mln unemployed, industrial action on the Sydney waterfront has the potential to add many more. Wharf workers are striking, and now major shipping lines are refusing to dock in the face of endless cargo unloading delays. See here and here. Diversion to Melbourne is a poor option because of limited operations there in their pandemic restrictions.

Of course, it is not all bad in Australia. Despite their recession, business is booming across farms amid drought breaking rains and rising commodity prices.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 30,859,000 and up +562,000 in two days. Global deaths now exceed 959,000 (+11,000).

Just under a quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up 84,000 in two weekend days to 6,987,000. The number of active cases are rising again at 2,546,000. Their death total is now just over 204,000 and still rising at more than +1000 a day (and now 616/mln and only Spain and Belgium have a higher death rate among Western countries).

In Australia, there have now been 26,898 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is just +37 more cases from Saturday. Deaths however are up at 849 (+12). Their recovery rate is now over 89%.

The UST 10yr yield is still at 0.70% and unchanged since the end of trading on Wall Street. Their 2-10 rate curve is just marginally higher at +57 bps, their 1-5 curve is up at +16 bps, while their 3m-10 year curve is also unchanged at just under +61 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is unchanged at 0.93%. The China Govt 10 year yield is also unchanged at 3.15%. And the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is a little below 0.55% and little-changed as well.

The price of gold will start today down -US$4 at US$1949/oz.

Oil prices are little-changed today at US$41/bbl in the US while the international price is down slightly to just on US$43/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is starting the week firmer at 67.7 USc and almost +1c higher than this time last week. Against the Australian dollar we are unchanged in a week at 92.7 AUc. Against the euro we are up at 57.1 euro cents and a +½% appreciation in a week. That means our TWI-5 has risen to 70.5.

The bitcoin price is a little-changed today, still at US$10,898 and very similar to where we left it on Saturday. 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 ».

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Nats don't have a clue what to do: RNZ article: National Party admits $4 billion hole in their promised spending "The National Party officially launched its election campaign today, but it was hindered by a $4 billion hole in its flagship economic policy."


National's new campaign slogan:

"Team of 4 billion"

The joke is that even using a financial counting-system which is lying about its impact on the physical world - which is on the way to wiping out many species, ours included - they can't count correctly. 4 billion missing deckchairs, but more jobs better economy don't worry about the sinking.

Would be funny if it weren't so tragic.

Those blanket statements from a 'business-friendly' NZ National on 'more jobs, better economy' drive me mad.

In the European context, eastern states have enjoyed an elongated period of high growth and low jobless rates but the central and, particularly northern economies are far stronger and better despite periods of slower growth and higher unemployment.

You can't cut taxes and grow your way out of low productivity trap.

The high taxes-government pet project spending model raises productivity how?
"$6.2m for three train journeys? Napier-Wairoa rail line ignored by loggers"

Come on profile, you wouldn't be posting a pay-walled article without providing some important context would you?

Coronavirus has caused a "market crash" for logging in Hawke's Bay, and those affected say it's cheaper to transport logs by truck in current conditions. "Because of the market crash their first priority is to support the existing infrastructure, trucks in this case, which is critical in terms of getting logs off the hills," he said. "With reduced activity, it makes complete business sense to keep these services in operation in the meantime."

Profile is right in being disappointed in the government. How dare they not stress-test this infrastructure project for pandemic risks back in early 2019.

Let's criticise our government for bureaucracy and also chastise it for not spending a lot more time, money and effort on managing risks for a project worth 0.02% of that year's capital spending.

But one example. The Wairoa-Napier line sucked long before the convenient covid excuse came along. This folly didn't even pass the business case test let a alone a stress. It did pass the textbook test of duping voters with their own money - with flying colours.

Pluto - there was no "market crash" for logging in Hawke's Bay. That article is divorced from reality.
It is almost always cheaper to truck logs rather than rail them. To move logs a short distance out of the bush to a rail head is going to cost you $10/t then $5/t for double handling - so a wagon is already down at least $15/t before it even starts rolling. Only a politician would think that was ever going to be economic - as has been proven, again, by the Wairoa line.

Pet projects.
More like strays that won't leave you alone

It turns out Shaw's error of judgment - demanding the green light for the Green School's request for cash - wasn't the school's first rodeo.

Poor old Shaw & Co.
The first app $1 million give 100 jobs - was rejected.
The 2nd app $12 million give 200 jobs - approved.

Poor poor Shaw, his numbers work backwards.

Judith Collins dismisses 4 billion "gap" as "entirely inconsequential".

Another one of her bangers to put things in context (abv'd) - "James Shaw needs to resign over the $12m Green School fiasco."

Context being Robertson is borrowing $15 billion off unborn children to have a flutter on the Cullen fund - is that helping child poverty or just his mates in the finance industry? As for the other $33 Billion - is that to be squandered again by investment doyens like Shane Jones?

"The error means National's intention to bring debt down to 35 percent of GDP by 2034 will now be revised to 36 percent.
Collins said that was nothing compared to the 48 percent Labour had committed to."


So you are fine with the fact that the supposed "strong team", has continued to excuse the fact that Goldsmith actually has no idea wtf he is doing?
Although he may look like an accountant, he doesn't understand tax policy nor does he care for financial statements.

You are fine with borrowing money to fund an investment scheme? The less money politicians have their hands on the better. They shouldn't be allowed to borrow money - especially off unborn taxpayers. Robertson piffles about $4 billion when he is planning to blow another $50 odd billion on top of Nationals scheme.

No. I'm not arguing about that.

What I am saying is if you want to frame your image as one of expertise in running an economy, at least admit it is hugely embarrassing when your finance spokesperson can't use the correct numbers.

I fully agree that we should have more regard for what debt we hand to next generations and what we leave them in the environment.

Unfortunately, this new line of talking points looks like crocodile tears given the last decade-plus's focus on shoving ever greater debt onto NZ's children and grandchildren (inflating house prices through policy) and lack of regard for the environment.

We need some consistency in that regard and that means facing the need to make housing affordable. Both parties. Otherwise crocodile tears are just crocodile tears, and concern for public debt is perhaps merely concern that less will be left over from youngsters's wallets to pay for overpriced investment property.


So much for the 'Finacially Savvy National Party'....

Recall Goldsmith got his arithmetic wrong too over The Green’s wealth tax proposal? Although to be fair, that may have been due to some ambiguity in the wording?

yes CJ, a terrible, terrible error.
Much worse than any virus health spreading event.

Can you tell us the difference between the two government number in debate, and why using one government number rather than the other is so explosively devastating?.

CJ, here is some help.

The first number is
Contribution to NZ Super as per March 2020 budget
2nd number is
Contribution to NZ Super as per last week PREFU.

The change GR made between the 2 numbers, reducing the NZ Super Fund with no announcement, telling no one.
At first reading, it looks GR 2nd number is the mistake - because never announced.

GR being lovely has now announced his contribution reduce, claiming its a GS mistake.
Truly creative accounting.

It was announced, in the PREFU. That's the whole point of the PREFU??? Should they announce everything that's changed in the PREFU before they release the PREFU?


"Most people who test positive (PCR) have no complaints. Their immune system is strong enough. Strengthening natural immunity is a much more logical approach. Prevention is an important, insufficiently highlighted pillar: healthy, full-fledged nutrition, exercise in fresh air, without a mask, stress reduction and nourishing emotional and social contacts."
If only our government would start passing this message rather than fear

Sad it's only starting to surface now. Scores of scientists, myself included, tried to call this out back in March, imploring a multi-disciplinary, critical thinking approach with a broader outcomes-orientation, open to considering all strategies enabling better health and economic outcomes simultaneously, beyond simplistic uni-science. (The health/economy either/or is a false dichotomy, BOTH ways, causing untold extra harm in both dimensions). All independents were then shut down, ignored, ridiculed, with media magnifying rather than critically testing the narrative. Covid is unprecedented, but not as a pandemic (it's barely middling), but for a response massively increasing its harm.

And Sir Bob Jones again today, consistent from the outset:

@Veryinterested linked to this yesterday, it's interesting stuff

I was expecting a spoiler splurge - but not you, AJ

:I was expecting a fisherman or someone seen from side on.....


I can do two dimensional

..yep a good one thanks Aj

'But all is not well there. In 2018, a data service reported 180,000 home foreclosures in China. In 2019 the same source reported 300,000. To the middle of September 2020 they are saying 1.25 mln homes were foreclosed on by banks in China as vast numbers of people struggled with meeting mortgage payments due to "deteriorating job prospects and shrinking income". How credible the source is, is up for conjecture, but it is part of the giant Alibaba service. You would think they would know.'

1.25million homes were foreclosed still one hear news of China economy booming .....Surreal world where everything is distorted to suit the narrative.

In Japan, like everyone else, they are making no progress reigniting inflation, partly because of fiscal policies. Japan's core consumer prices fell at their fastest pace in almost four years in August, dragged down mostly by government-sponsored discounts for domestic travel aimed at supporting the battered tourism sector.
Hmmmm...Eurodollar Accounting

An entire dozen years and counting. They call it stimulus, but labor market slack calls into question whether anything had ever gotten properly stimulated.

I remember when the Yen was at 90 per NZD - and a short time before that, 120. It really is an amazing failure of central bank policy that no one really seems to want to talk about.

When the eurodollar system worked, or at least appeared to, not only did the overflow of real effective (if virtual and confusing) currency “weaken” the US dollar’s exchange value, its enormous excess showed up as more and more foreign holdings of US$ assets. Mostly US Treasuries, especially in official hands, but not entirely those. That much is perfectly clear; you can actually see the difference on every chart despite all the QE’s and trillions in bank reserves following after August 2007.

Therefore, a net negative monthly change in US TIC – the gross buying and selling of US$ assets by foreigners of all kinds – has been unusual. Negative means more selling than buying, and not coincidentally these months tend to show up and cluster when the US dollar exchange rate is rising or just remains stubbornly high despite a “flood” of “liquidity” by the central bank offering…something else.

The missing factor in between those two results is the eurodollar and what can only be a global dollar shortage. The more of it in any given month, the less US$ assets foreigners are able to buy. And, in the more extreme cases, such as March and April this year, outright selling and big. Link

And now for a little reality

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran says quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand is unlikely to resume for at least another six months, bursting hopes of a proposed "trans-Tasman bubble" opening before March next year.

The airline boss also says eliminating Covid-19 – something New Zealand was lauded for achieving in June before it was hit with a second wave of infections – was no longer a realistic goal, and that countries need to learn to live with the virus.

As mentioned yesterday, looks like elimination of the curve is at best deferral of the curve.
Problem is PM & GR have emptied the wallet already, and that massive stimulation (really just makeup makedo spending), has bought massive GDP contraction, massive shrinkage of everything economic.

Suits me. We would rather have all the Aucklanders coming down here than have the Aussies here, and all the Auks going to the Gold Coast as per usual. That is actually a compliment to the Aucklanders, by the way.

I know of a few Aussie and UK based Kiwis that are coming back to NZ this summer, as they do most years, but are staying for 90-95 days to avoid paying isolation costs, and will be working at the same time.

I don't agree with it at all.

Too funny.
The biggest story of the day and Stuff lock it up in the travel Section.

The reply comment

And is the Trav Writer best aced to question the foundation to NZ entire Pandemic response.

# no idea of priorities.

The money laundering documents leaked overnight are quite interesting. They show that many banks are failing to meet their compliance obligations. In fact some may be actively advising clients on ways around:

They are banks. They are unprincipled crooks. How could anyone be surprised?

There's an alternative view. I've been quoted in US Senate testimony describing money laundering controls as the least effective form of policy, regulatory, enforcement activity, anywhere, ever. They let crims keep up to 99.95% of criminal funds. Not a tax on crime. Not even a rounding error, despite trillions spent on a 'war' not even pointed in the general direction of crime. Fining banks for breaching rules impossible to meet, with almost zero impact on crime, has become the pastime of unimaginative regulators pretending to make a difference, with the media uncritical cheerleaders, and the crims are laughing.

Is China like NZ, a property market that defies DGMs????

Anyone think Keltopia is a book worth reading?
Sharp and ready to win... It's abuse to keep rolling Biden out when it is getting clearer by the day that he has got some health issues. 75 now and he will be knocking on 80 by the end of the term if he wins. He is not up to the riggers that this job demands.

Its probably what the teleprompter said.

Joe Biden is as sharp as a razor. He once said," I am as sharp as a razor end of quote".

They call it elder abuse. Biden looks worse by the week and now wondering if he'll actually make it to election day.

This line of argument would be far stronger if his opponent wasn't so frequently incoherent and 74 years old himself.

It's not a pro Trump arguement. Just stating that Biden isn't sounding well. As this is an investment site, we need to look at the health of Biden effects choices we make.

Agreed, but in a two horse race you need to consider the state of the alternative. And of course the state of the Vice Presidential candidates who are fairly likely to play a role.

Biden's VP dosent get a mention if Bidens health continues to expose him in the next six weeks.
Highly likely that he won't turn up for televised leader debates and if he dose he'll be slaughtered.
Stuck between a rock and hard place.

I am looking forward to the debates - there's been so much focus on Biden's fluff-ups that people haven't noticed he can actually be a very powerful speaker, even recently. If he shows up and performs it will really blunt that line of attack.

He falters when there is no pressure....

How much of his output are you watching? Are you watching whole speeches/interviews or just the embarrassing clips that are shared online? You could very quickly come to a false conclusion if it's the later.

The same is obviously true for Trump - plenty of embarrassing little clips to be shared. My attempt at balance is to always go to the whole speech/interview and make my own mind up rather than rely on the sound bite.

It comes down to what the average person in the US watches. That would be very little.

But very important if you're actually assessing the man for office, as you said you were. Even when running with Obama (and before) he was well known for his gaffs - the fact that you can knock together an incriminating compilation doesn't actually mean much.

Like I said, the same applies to Trump. I have sat down and watched the entirety of his recent interviews to form an honest opinion - try doing the same and say with a straight face that he's an intellectual powerhouse. The covid stats in particular were way over his head.

Everyone expects it from Trump. His PR team is going to push the 'sleepy Joe' adding pressure on him. The average US voter will be swayed by this attack, not listening to what he actually says, waiting on every gaffe.

It certainly looks like you've been swayed by the attack, my argument is that people should look into it in more depth. A head to head debate will certainly help that. Perhaps you could put more thought into the issue than the average US voter.

It could be deliberate, Biden health fails during term and steps down so Kamala Harris becomes President.

Riggers = rigours you Trumpian speller :)

Resorting to nit picking when you don't like the facts MM.

Joking man, stay chilled, I put a smiley face on the end to express that
Like your commentary in general

The number of international students, who account for about half of net overseas migration

More alarming stats from the sector:
1) 250k or 2% of Australia's workforce are directly supported by international education
2) International education contributed over $41 billion to the Aussie economy in 2019
3) 4th largest export for the country, behind coal, iron ore and natural gas (wow!).
4) 3 source countries make up more than half the demand side (China, India and Nepal)

Even one their highest ranked unis, ANU is being forced to lay-off 450 staff due to the industry grinding to a halt.

Its shocking isn't it.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but redundancy numbers across Australian unis is brutal. Most in line with ANU. How many of them own an investment property?

EDIT: 21,000 job losses.

True. More pain will be felt down the line for the country - particularly around skills and economic diversification. Contrary to NZ, Aussie businesses in financial services, IT and mining engineering depend on its international education sector for high-skilled workers.

Our businesses here should start planning for a mass exodus of trained workers when Aussie reopens for Kiwi migration.

It's not skills - academics tend not to have them. It's knowledge and rigorous science we need then for. Just when humanity is facing multiple dilemmas, any one of which can take us out, the institutions we'd need most are in disarray.

And they were being 'funded' to do something other than warn, anyway - the Joyce legacy hereabouts.

Collapse here we come - flying blind and blinder.

No worries, Covid has already helped perfect the system for shutting out critical and independent thinking. Might as well jettison all those superfluous bods in academia and media not on the tight messaging dominant narrative express. We've got no more serious issues down the track where hard thinking might be useful, all is rosy and sweet...

Ah, foreclosures, the death knell word of bubbles world wide.
MUST be avoided, so print to the moon.
Destroyed money via foreclosure or default means game over for 1982-2021 bubble of ever cheaper debt and ever worse inequality for OECD countries excl China.

Inflation primary source is food prices.
USA and China had disastrous flooding in last 12 months and China had pork destruction also.
This is feeding into inflation but most of MSM taking NIL interest.
Inflation is going to make a big comeback in 2021 and most commentators are still in frame of mind that it cannot happen.
Inflation destroys lower income earners who cannot get wages to compensate.
Banks will not dare raise rates to choke off the inflation.
This inflation baked in a year ago and will surge in February.
This, my friends, has been basis of my housing forecast all along.
Earnings will be hit not just by unemployment, but by erosion of rising prices.
That undermines attempt to boost affordability via rate cuts.
This is not a linear event we are heading for, it is a 33 year return to inflation.

hey mike have a listen to the link Aj provided above re deflation. Interested in your thoughts after a watch.

One thing I've been wondering. Don't know answer. (My econ degree is getting old, dusty). We're used to mortgage rates tracking OCR, and low inflation/mortgage rate environment, so our thinking is conditioned by past decade, despite low rates being anomaly in 600+years (link below). But some of us remember high inflation/mortgage rates. Question: If OCR stays low but inflation rises, might banks raise mortgage rates anyway? And are banks advising clients sure you can afford 2% on that 800k, but have you thought about 4%? (A tiny rise, but doubling repayments).

Doubling of payments might still be doable for many, but the psychological effect of seeing so much more money every week/month going out?? People would drive halfway across town to save 40 cents per liter on fuel.

Crikey I've never known anyone sanguine about doubling mortgage payments, but agree, psychological effect very important. A 2% rise from a 16% mortgage back in the day or 2% rise from a 2% mortgage today has different effects financially and psychologically despite being the 'same' 'only' 2%.

Yes it's a warning, but your article is bollocks.

Same as the Australian PM claiming a little more forest management would do the trick. The people on the ground know the magnitude of the change.

And saying it's not worth changing while others don't (because it wouldn't make any difference) is flawed logic. Kills everyone. It was mounted here by Fed Farmers - and was as stupid then as it is in that piece. Come on AJ - raise your game. The world is disintegrating, as long predicted. Cool heads and relevant discussion eh?

Actually the problems in CA are varied, much the place is a desert, the central valley gets up into mid 40's for months it's just a tinder box. Pressure from people to build houses in forests is not the best idea in the world. Also some pests have hammered forests, Radiata pine is pretty much extinct in Ca due to the Pine beetle and pitch pine canker. I have friends logging out of Fresno at the moment, all they are doing is cutting dead trees from beetle damage and they have some gear, lots of trees coming out.
You can see the damage if you ever visit Yosemite, so it's not just one thing, more complicated as one would expect.

I visited good friends about 3 hours north of Phoenix and where they lived (summer house), it was just a bunch of dead trees like a pick up sticks game. Some locals had got together and put some fire breaks in, I doubt they would have been any use with so much combustible material. Lots of wooden house in the valleys, crazy stuff.