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US inflation rises to 5%; US household net worth leaps; China's bank debt rises; ECB stays dovish; Aussie inflation expectations rise sharply; UST 10yr slips to 1.45%; gold and oil firm; NZ$1 = 72 USc; TWI-5 = 73.5

US inflation rises to 5%; US household net worth leaps; China's bank debt rises; ECB stays dovish; Aussie inflation expectations rise sharply; UST 10yr slips to 1.45%; gold and oil firm; NZ$1 = 72 USc; TWI-5 = 73.5

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand with news American inflation is now at 5% in a new sudden jump.

But first, last week's jobless claims came in very much as expected and very similar to the level of the prior week. There are now 3.3 mln on these programs and a -5% reduction in one week. They still have some way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels but most of the progress to that goal has been made.

The American CPI inflation rate touched 5% in May and above the expected +4.7% and well above the April level of 4.2%. That is a 13 year high. This result was essentially driven by the energy sector, but without that, the result "less food and energy" was still a 3.8% rise, and a good part of that was caused by their booming used car market. Because of these odd drivers, it is easy to see why policy makers might still look though these results.

The Fed is meeting next week and how they view the inflation track will likely be a key discussion topic.

The US Treasury auctioned US$26 bln of a 30 year bond overnight, and the Fed took US$2 bln. Of the US$24 bln available to the public, they got bids of US$55 bln and the median yield was 2.10%, lower than the prior equivalent event a month ago at 2.32%.

The US Federal Government reported a May deficit of -US$132 bln and far less than the -US$399 bln recorded in May 2020. For the full twelve months to May, the federal deficit is -US$3.3 tln or -15% of US GDP. External Federal debt is now US$22 tln or about as much as the annual US economic output (GDP).

But away from the public sector, American household wealth is surging and their net worth is now +US$137 tln, or 6½ times as much as the annual US economic output (GDP).

China issued data for its May level of new yuan loans in its 'social financing' release. These came in slightly above the expected level of +¥1.5 tln and very similar to the April loan growth amount. We are inured to these fast debt expansions in China these days. But local policy makers are nervous.

At the latest ECB meeting, they left all their current policy positions unchanged, continuing their QE at the rate of €20 bln per month. There are no tapering signals in this dovish review.

In Australia, their June survey of inflation expectations rose from 3.5% pa in May to 4.4% in June and its highest since February 2020. In contrast, wage growth expectations remain unusually low.

Back in the US, their USDA has issued its latest WASDE agricultural review of world food supply and it notes that world corn stocks are falling fast, which will likely give food prices another jolt higher. They are also reporting lower wheat and rice stocks. For dairy products, they raise their estimate of US prices on rising exports despite noting good rises in US production.

A new survey has found that the image of the US by people outside the country has recovered sharply following their change of President. But interestingly, the gain was less in Australia than most other place. (Australia is where the Murdoch Press holds significant market share. The culture wars are alive and well in Australia. New Zealand wasn't in this survey.)

Wall Street has opened with the S&P500 recording a +0.6% rise by early afternoon trading. Overnight, European markets were mixed with changes hovering at about -0.1%. Yesterday, the very large Tokyo market closed up -0.3%, Hong Kong ended flat, and Shanghai recorded a +0.5% recovery. The ASX200 ended its Tuesday session up another +0.4% but the NZX50 Capital Index was down -0.4% on the day.

The bond markets are spooked for some reason. The UST 10yr yield starts today down another -8 bps at 1.45%. The US 2-10 rate curve has flattened again at +132 bps. Their 1-5 curve is also flatter at +69 bps, while their 3m-10 year curve is as well at +146 bps. The Australian Govt ten year benchmark rate is another -7 bps lower at 1.46%. But the China Govt ten year bond remains at 3.12%, and the New Zealand Govt ten year is down a sharp -11 bps at 1.70%.

The price of gold starts today at US$1895/oz, and up +US$2 overnight.

Oil prices start today a little firmer at just over US$70/bbl in the US, while the international Brent price is just over US$72/bbl. But these are now levels we haven't seen since May 2019. Just over a year ago this price was US$18/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar opens today little-changed at just under 72 USc. Against the Australian dollar we have fallen to just under 92.8 AUc. Against the euro we are unchanged at 59.1 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 starts today at 73.5 and about where it was this time last week.

The bitcoin price is now at US$36,499 and back up +14% from this time yesterday. Volatility in the past 24 hours is still high at +/- 3.9%.

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

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I don't know how the RBNZ can claim that stretched supply chains can "temporarily lift inflation". Sounds fairly simplistic. A cost push inflation such as a supply chain shock doesn't instantaneously manifest into an xx% increase across the board for all suppliers and then you're done. Everyone will be putting up their prices, and in response they'll put up their prices again due to price increases elsewhere. A game of leap frog.


Oh you know nothing bud, Orr will come again and stress how it is all temporary even if inflation was at 10% in the current woeful CPI measures as though it will magically reduce right back. If 10% was temporary then he has to realise at least 9% of the 10 will be permanent. He will threaten to slash the OCR into negative territory. I’m so sick of him. These lot are making NZ severely unaffordable. No wonder we are going through a mental health crisis as a nation. Self created mess stemmed from the greed of a select few and incompetence of some.


Housing is the bubble that can never be allowed to pop, leverage must be increased at all costs.

[ Removed. Personal attacks and smears breach our commenting standards. Ed ]

Didn’t you hear squishy. Inflation is just temporary. Soon the NZ house prices that inflated excessively over the last 18 months is going to go back to pre Covid levels in a heartbeat. Just trust Mr.Orr will ya. He “knows” what he is doing (or rather not doing).

100%, We import products into the US/Canada that are manufactured in Asia. We have just increased prices across the board for the next 12 months. This is not a "temporary" price adjustment unless there is an oversupply in our vertical and downwards pressure on price.

Reason for increases, material/production costs have gone up (demand for raw materials and fewer suppliers due to COVID), freight costs for 40ft container into the US went from $1,800 USD to $12,500 USD, warehousing and logistics in the US have gone up, and Trump duties (15-25%). All of which have eroded margin and put upwards pressure on price. So far the market is taking the price increases fine.

I'd have thought freight costs are a good example of something which will resolve in time - costs of 7x previous will not persist for long, supply will increase and prices will come down. Shipping is very cyclical.

> This is not a "temporary" price adjustment

To be fair, they don't say that the increases are temporary, rather that the *rate* of increase being this high is temporary.

Now if that is true, or not, is a question. But the central banks are not contending that prices will fall.

Why would you drop your prices while supply chain issues continue?

How does one interpret rising inflation and falling bond yields?

Maybe bond traders are expecting that there is so little real economic growth that inflation can’t be sustained - demand will simply evaporate as prices rise? There’s also the theory that these instruments are being purchased not as investments but as collateral, and in a nervous market financial institutions need a lot of collateral. Also big institutional funds eg pension funds are sometimes mandated to invest a certain percentage in bonds etc even at terrible rates.
The whole system is now leveraged and hedged and arbitraged in so many different ways, who knows what’s really going on?

I remain skeptical to the whole rising inflation narrative. We tend to focus on CPI, which tells us that the *price* of things is going up, but not why; nor does it tell us whether those things are actually getting more *expensive* or not. By focusing on price inflation instead of monetary inflation, we miss out on a lot of predictive and explanatory information as to what is actually happening with our economies.

I suspect that there are a lot of deflationary pressures we are ignoring by focusing on the price of things, rather than the change in the amount of money relative to available goods and services, which is what monetary inflation (or deflation) is. I would be tempted to trust the bond market here, and suggest that inflation expectations are either overblown, transitory, or both.

Chebbo. Agreed and have been saying the same on here for a while. Deflation will turn up and the herd will be silent for a long, long time.

Due to globalisation and technology advances there has been a fall in prices on some items already, but the money printing and low interest rates have led to massive inflation of property and shares. Deflation of the daily consumables is no bad thing but if asset prices fall then that is where the trouble lies. One does not hold off buying the daily essentials but on large ticket items and given no wage increases people will hold off on upgrading their assets.

Except that the increase in available money is not across the population is it? The Government has signalled no pay increases for public servants (which will cost them big time) and this will flow into the private sector in several ways. So the majority of people are seeing increased inflationary pressures, but not an increase in their money supply (unless they want to increase debt).

Downstream any pay increases that do come through will only reflect immediate inflation, but not multi year losses. (by this I mean a three year ban on pay increases, even Cost of Living, will mean that in year four when a pay increase is awarded, it will only cover the last measured rate of inflation, but not the inflation for the whole three years. This has been the historical trend) In effect the ban on pay increases is a direction to reduce living standards for working Kiwis. A drive towards increasing poverty and dependency.

Murray, it's not quite correct to say there is a ban on pay increases. People will still progress up the payscales in their collective agreements, so their pay will still increase. What won't happen in those 3 years is that the collective agreements will be increased.

That's the Government line and while technically true, for the vast majority of workers there will be no increases in pay at all. So the effect is a pay freeze. The government line is an unvarnished attempt to put lipstick on a pig. Pay scales for public servants only have increases that come from promotion, hitting a time in service (sometimes, for nurses it is five years), or an organisationally supported qualification. I don't know of any other reason. So can the Government propaganda and tell it how it is - a pay freeze.

And the lack of increase in Collective Agreements? Effectively an erosion of living standards, as I said driving working Kiwis closer to the poverty line while inflation is increasing.

My public sector MECA has annual increments, with a couple of gateway points where an active decision needs to be made but all other increments are automatic. I'd guess about half of my group are stuck in gateways and probably won't get much, others will continue with the increments which are ~2-3% in general.

I predict a small general increase or freeze will lead to more pressure from people stuck in gateways to get their next increment.

My public sector does not have those increments at all, some areas do have a time based gate, also at five years. I understand that our one is the most common. I am surprised that you are looking at a MECA with annual increments of ~2-3%, that's a lot!

Can you tell me what's dropping in price? Big ticket staples like rates electricity fuel food insurance don't seem to be.

Nothing is dropping in price, but price increases are a symptom, not a cause, and it's the underlying cause which is important to understand.

Have I missed something,

Inflation is up , and inflation expectations are also up, but the bond market has taken a dive, why?


Bond yeilds are down because the federal reserve is buying 120 billion in bonds per month. This buying is driving down yeilds. Inflation expectations are up also due to the federal reserve buying 120 billion in bonds each month. The market is fearful that this money printing will cause an inflation issue.
The problem you have is the economic theory you were taught at university was based on a more conventional, free market. Where markets were driven by individuals making decisions. However Bond & stock markets & are now effectively controlled by central bank policies.

the free market was abandoned some time back
otherwise the trucks would have stopped running

Well worth the read - I think this underpins what we are seeing with logistics, supply(ies), debt and energy.

But the impact on the purchasing power of the USD is stark

The USD has lost up to 20% of its value against a lot of currencies in the last year due to of Trillions of QE

The result


Heard that major US airlines where buying hundreds more jets to try to meet high demand. Perhaps AirNZ could get their international business going over there? If they wait for New Zealand's vaccine program they'll be sitting on their hands a long time, the rest of the world is starting to move on.

"New Zealand, they'll be sitting on their hands a long time, the rest of the world is starting to move on."

I do recall The Hosk" making that very point over 12 months ago, the govts subterfuge and engineering was too glaringly obvious. Many disagreed then. Now everyone is starting to wake up finally.

"The International Air Transport Association announced that domestic travel demand improved in April 2021, although well below pre-pandemic levels, while recovery in international passenger travel continued to be stalled."

Did you miss the link in yesterday's 90@9 ? Domestic air travel around the world is back to 75% of equivalent 2019 levels (ie a -25% drop), while international travel is still down -87%.

More's the pity in a way, we bailed out the airline industry instead of right-sizing it for our environmental goals. Still given airlines are typically bailed out regularly maybe a future government will be offered another chance.

The demand is predominantly coming from countries where the vaccine rollout is advanced for domestic holidays. So, for example, the US was already back at almost 70% of domestic capacity in March:

US media was encouraging people to book summer tickets early in April because prices where already rising as many airlines had reduced capacity. It seems to me that airlines travel going to have a huge bounce back as restrictions ease. Among my own social group it seems that everyone wants to go on holiday! It's something of a reversal from early-on in the pandemic when people where planning to stay within New Zealand.

So its them thats at the Front of the Queue.

Suspect a majority of NZrs will not travel say long haul destinations until they have been vaccinated. It is pretty obvious that since day one the government’s greatest concern is that our hospital system can barely cope with normal activities let alone accommodate a sizeable influx of CV19 patients. So a slow vaccine roll out could be calculated by the powers that be, as dampening down prospects, the risk of travellers bringing home the bug? Just speculating!

Possibly, it looks like the vaccination campaign will finish around late October:

The "travel bubble" idea likely has an expiry date on it as few other major nations are likely to exclude global travel just to join our bubble. What the travel and tourism industry needs is some clear plan about incremental reopening so that they can do some capacity planning. Airlines need time to recommission aircraft and hotels need to re-hire staff. More jobs created though if we get this right.

Also I'd imagine there will be many families looking forwards to visiting or being visited by family or friends. Over 27% of New Zealands population where born abroad so the closure of borders has negative impacts beyond the economic sphere.

"US inflation rise 5% : US consumer price inflation figures out overnight show a spike to a 29-year high in May, but financial markets have lost their fear — for now — of an inflation-driven spike in interest rates in the world’s largest economy. They’re betting the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will see the spike as temporary and keep printing money to keep rates low for a couple more years to come."

'Market has lost the fear' is only to put pressure on fed to not stop printing of money....this is the future and whenever fed tries to control printing of will react adversely and fed will shit and allow itself to be blackmailed to keep printing machine on.

World following fed.....they fail, we fail attitude as than no one will raise finger for if US can fail....

Ask Mr Orr and his likes, Is 30% plus inflation on house price temporary or do the likes of him feel that this 30% plus rise will have no effect on their inflation data as has been planned to include and exclude what suits their narrative...

and here we go..
IMF sees legal, economic issues with El Salvador bitcoin move
(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it has a number of economic and legal concerns regarding the move from El Salvador to make bitcoin a parallel legal tender.

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with President Nayib Bukele touting its use for its potential to help Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back home.

"Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis," said Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, during a scheduled press briefing.


Global elite trying to control the world.

Screw the IMF cartel. Let the sovereign nation do what it wants with its monetary system.

Next they will probably cook up an USA invasion for weapons of mass destruction


suggest you back yourself out of the rabbit hole.

The IMF coming out publicly against El Salvador is actually a really positive progression. Why?

1) It legitimizes Bitcoin as a credible alternative to the USD as a global reserve asset
2) It'll be very hard for the IMF to look good taking this position when BTC enables 70% of El Salvadors unbanked population a transaction account
3) It will expose the IMF for who they really are. Not an organisation working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. But rather an undemocratic cartel of elites looking to keep the poor in their place.


Honest question - if El Salvador move to a Bitcoin standard. Do the locals get given some bitcoins or bits of a bitcoin so they can't buy stuff if the don't have bitcoins already.

And if they walk into a store, are all the prices in bitcoins?

And if a tourist or business person arrives there, but don't have bitcoins, what do they pay with? Do they use USD?

And if prices are in both USD and bitcoin, but Bitcoin losses or gains in value x2 in a month relative to the world reserve currency, how do people change the prices on their menus or on the shelves in their stores? Do they just take the loss or gain and carry it on their books?

You can tell me to do my research, but i'm simply asking as the 'average person' who hasn't become a crypto fanatic and am looking at this from a practical point of view...but at this point not sure how it would work.

I think they are "banking" on BTC continuing to grow in value over the long term

Still too early to know the exact details of how they will integrate it. My thoughts would be that they will harness the speed and power of the lightning network and strike app, that will convert either way instantaneously at POS. People can probably choose to have USD and BTC in their mobile wallets, like two different accounts on your current mobile banking app, and can choose to pay with either (much the same as you may transfer from a savings or holding account to a transacting account). I’d guess you could choose to keep some money in both USD and BTC, and merchants would have to accept either. From what I understand, the government will hold reserves so merchants and people can convert BTC to USD or VV if they don’t want either. The strike app can covert in an instant, and for free.
The benefit is that it gives people the option to hold their store of value in a rapidly debasing fiat, or a volatile deflationary crypto asset. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds for sure. But I applaud them for being brave and offering to be live sandbox to test it for others. I hope for the sake of El Salvadorans that the IMF and the US do not intervene in a way that damages the opportunity to make this work.

Iraq started accepting EURO for Oil minute..

Libya tried to go Gold standard Dinar, nek minute

El savador uses the USD as its currency, problem is the USD has lost 20% of its value in the last year due to QE of which none is injected into El Salvador. So essentially the whole value of all Elsavador assets are worth 20% less unless you inflate to adjust but then you need to find a way to get more USDs, Bananas arent going to cut it.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Hard to see how the "stability" of BTC is the solution to volatility in the USD.

Exactly, Desperation

BTC is up 300% in the last year which may look more inviting than the 20% loss of value of the USD, but of course there is also a huge risk in going down that road

BTC = hard asset - USD..printers go zoom

There is no BTC Fed.

Thats kinda the point.

Opinions differ on inflation's "temporary" nature and what it implies if it is temporary or not.
David appears to be siding somewhat with the "seeing through" narrative.
Wolf Richter does not.
This on day that authorities are announcing that world food prices are highest in 10 years.
Oil has risen 80% off its low and is still rising (world price)
NZ houses prices are 17% up in last year.
Freight prices have tripled in a year.

Crux: what have wages risen in last 12m and 6m, relative to REAL inflation?
That is, in NZ and OECD top 7 countries.
And IF wages do and did keep up with REAL inflation (not hedonically reduced version of reality) would that not mean more cost push inflation??
Which should imply rates to be raised. But of course we are told by our betters that this will not happen for another year yet. In the meantime, for 1m people are supposed to be sitting with a sanguine look on their faces, accepting a fall in living standards for the "team". Meanwhile the top 20% of world wealth holders are sucking it up big time.

Governors, Ministers, Politicians, Experts, Bureaucrats and their friend ....most fall in that 20%, so if the other 80% is expecting them to act is living in fools paradise.

Unfortunately question of conflict of interest does not rise though people deciding for the rest and spinning a narrative to suit have biased vested interest.

Panademic will do reset of not only economy but also of reserve bank and political system as slowly, all getting exposed. They may fib and spin but for how long. earlier 2.5% was worrisome and Today even 5% inflation is not bad and tomorrow 7% will be manageable but for how long. Matter of time......

Oil prices are indeed on the rise
At some point this causes a recession ...
which leads to less production and lower economic growth ... a vicious feedback loop

Emerging reality.

In California 1 out of 5 electric car drivers want to switch back to petrol vehicles.
See Scotty Kilmer


If 4 of 5 are happy with the switch, this will quickly drive a major transition. There will always be marginals.

20% of keen early adopters now regret their choice?

That's right. I know a few people in San Diego who say EVs aren't the problem, the state of California is.

Much like our woke inept government, theirs is also struggling to deliver anything more than empty promises on infrastructure and economic reforms.

Maybe EV only works if your other car is petrol.

Here and now. With ski season starting some of the locals commenting their EV "just doesn't cut it" and are pining for the Subaru "I use to have".

True first world problems eh. At least most young won't be able to afford ski trips so it should solve this problem in the future.


We now have an EV and a petrol-engined car and it works well. We use the EV for all our local driving. I will buy a hybrid when I change my SUV.

Yes - would never go back to an ICE - caveman stuff after driving an EV.

Do you ski, tow a boat or tandem trailer?

Snowboard yes - sail yes, (tandem trailer - sounds dangerous - better to tow them)

Yep, thanks for triggering the Smug Alert (this is not a drill folks).

True Art is timeless:
Happy Days in Southpark indeed.

I'm never going EV while I can afford to put gas in the tank. I love to drive, its not just something to get from A to B and unless it has a 6 speed manual I'm not interested in driving it even if its worth a million bucks.

Makes you feel powerful ah Carlos?

Whats a comment like that to do with anything ? From what I have noted while driving, if I wanted to feel powerful and intimidate other road users I would be driving a Ford Ranger, I mean the Raptor is the ultimate road predator. Generally speaking complete assholes that are always in a hurry and will not wait even a couple of seconds seem to own one.

I used to be the same. Couldn't stand an automatic, would spend months finding manuals. Suggest you go into tesla and have a drive, the instant electric torque is something you just have to experience for yourself.

do they have towing ability?

Only the X, which is quite pricey. Hopefully the Y will land here soon and remedy that.

There are going to be some very attractively priced petrol driven cars available here in NZ in the coming years. A chance for many to easily possess their dream car.

Or it could go the other way, with no more petrol imports people could be chasing a shrinking pool of petrol cars?

Does anyone seriously believe US CPI is at 5% due to a 'booming used car market'?

Will touch on the fact that Blackrock and other funds are buying up US residential property on a massive scale?

Hmmmm.. Non-productive collateral that can be monetised under current bank regulations. As I say the jobs went to China and we and the US got the debt.

Too soon to call this bill a win but we should give it to the Americans in gathering bipartisan support to address the problem in a constructive way.

All we got in the name of advanced manufacturing was funding for a couple of rolling stock yards in SI and the announcement of yet another working group to draft an Industry Transformation Plan , sigh!

What more needs to be said? Two massive CPI's in a row, and this. Rates are tumbling, not just UST's. Oh no. Aussie, JGB, German, etc. RRP up more, too.
Inflation is a global thing, and right now global factors add up to something very, very different. Warning, even.Link

The Inflation Emotion(s)
An Entirely Too Familiar American (anti)Inflationary Anecdote

The media seems to be softening its tone on immigration.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that low-skilled migration in such large numbers are aggravating the very socioeconomic issues that the skilled migration programme was expected to solve in the first place.

More inflation scare stories - the days of the wage / price spiral are over. Let the market do what it is actually pretty good at - increasing supply to capitalise on increased prices (thus pushing prices back down again).

No - the market is COMPLETELY blind. It doesn't measure real scarcity, nor entropy, not does it realise that without energy it is dead.

Debt-issued 'money' is a bet on the future. But that future is unmeasured in energy and resource terms (which is how we're in the Climate doo-doo, and Ozone before that) so the betting is entirely belief - and belief in belief - driven.

That works until it doesn't. And it's so ignorant, it won't know when it doesn't, even when its isn't-ing.

If Christov was still on here he would be telling you that (a) the interest rates were simply the inverse reaction to the bond price, and (b) the jerk in the bond price down was simply the reaction of trapped money panic covering at all costs

One would have expected much better from Audacious

This is almost the ideal case, since the US is so far ahead of NZ in terms of their COVID vaccine response. If US inflation can remain high, then hopefully NZ will have no choice but to respond with higher interest rates later.

The government and RBNZ here are way too protective of the housing market. At least with this scenario, we have no choice but to respond to external factors.

Just had a meeting with one of our freight forwarders, and things are going backwards very quickly. The seafreight capacity coming into NZ has been reduced back to 2013 levels, fewer ships are on rotation and with the issues with port calls we are no longer economic to continue to serve. I am hearing shipping lines cancelling sailings as they are redeploying vessels on more profitable routes Asia to USA especially.
I have also heard that lines are outbidding each other for a 4000 TEU vessel leases so more vessels will also likely leave the NZ rotation. Shipping lines are making hay at the moment and NZ being strangled. If we were more of an attractive destination in terms of port call timing we might have a chance to keep our connections to the world. This really requires Auckland council to sort out POAL.

Can just see James Onedin grinning now.

We may have to convert our export fruit to fruit iceblocks.
Much the same as rendering export lamb which I believe happened only 40 years ago.
The shipping problem is deep seated in my opinion, no simple answers except shipping goods that have no use by date.
It’s much the same problem as ethernet or hard drives, they don’t perform well when they get near their theoretical capacity.
A solution may be to globally repatriate manufacturing which should give diversity to the supply paths.
Never mind.