90 at 9: US GDP up 3.5%; NZ$ to 73.5 USc

90 at 9: US GDP up 3.5%; NZ$ to 73.5 USc
Alex Tarrant presents 90 seconds at 9am in association with ASB (Watch video here). US GDP rose 3.5% in the third quarter from a year ago, its first growth in over a year spurred by the government's stimulus package, Bloomberg reports. Household spending was up 3.4%, its biggest rise in two years. The question now is whether this growth is sustainable into 2010, with the US facing a record US$1.4 trillion budget deficit and unemployment near 10%. They also have to look at what will happen when they withdraw all the stimulus. The New Zealand dollar rose overnight to around 73.5 USc. It had fallen below 72 USc following the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Official Cash Rate announcement yesterday. The OCR was left unchanged at 2.5%, with Governor Alan Bollard saying he expected it to stay there until the second half of 2010. The Dow was up around 2% in late trade. South Canterbury Finance yesterday announced that PGC director George Kerr's Torchlight fund had lent SCF NZ$75 million so it could make the initial US$50 million repayment to its US bond holders. Finally ANZ National Bank's profit result for the year ended September came out yesterday. Profit was down 80% to NZ$194 million as provisions for bad debts almost tripled and provisions were made for its structured finance tax case with the IRD and ING payments.

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