Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
TODAY'S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
HSBC finally came through with its floating rate cut today, settling on a -25 bps reduction to 6.10%. Westpac and BNZ both tweaked a few rates by mainly less than -5 bps. But BNZ cut its 6 month rate t 4.99% to match ASB which is the only other main bank with a rate that low for that term (but ICBC has 4.69% six month home loan rate).
TODAY'S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
ASB today cut term deposit rates, taking its offers to among the lowest of any bank.
'DOWN, BUT NOT OUT'
Today's Westpac McDermott Miller quarterly consumer confidence index came in a lot lower, but revealing a similar trend to what we see in the monthly ANZ-RoyMorgan survey. Consumer confidence has taken another step lower as the economic climate has 'soured'. But for now, it suggests spending is coming off the boil, not grinding to a halt, says Westpac.
NEW ANNUAL RECORD
Permanent migration has grown again with the annual gain hitting all time high of 60,290 in the year to August, This was led by growth in migration from India, and held up by returning Kiwis, and workers.
Credit card balances grew +6% year-on-year to July, their fastest rate of growth since October 2008, according to data out from the RBNZ today. Credit limits are now at $22 bln, and far above the $6.5 bln being used, but sitting there are an effective enticement into this high-cost debt. We are using these cards a lot more these days. Billing on domestic cards is up +9.8% pa in the year to August, the fastest growth since 2007. (The growth is +9.2% when we use them at home in New Zealand.)
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE
Tourists from Australia were +6% higher than a year earlier and account for about half of arrivals, due in part to a great ski season. Tourism from Australia are favouring cheaper and closer-to-home holiday destinations. Visitor numbers in August were also particularly strong from China and the USA.
WESTPAC LAUNCHES ATM COUPON REWARDS PROGRAMME
Westpac says it's launching NZ's first ATM rewards programme through which its customers will receive offers from local businesses. Developed by Hypermedia, "Rewarded" will be available on the majority of Westpac’s 550 ATMs from mid-September.
FMA REVIEWING RECRUITMENT PROCESS
The Financial Markets Authority says it's reviewing its recruitment procedures. The review comes after the NZ Herald reported Anthony Kiro, who worked for the FMA between September last year and January this year, has been charged with forging an academic record to help get the job, and stealing nearly $210,000 in a Ponzi style scheme. The FMA says it's "extremely disappointed and concerned" by the alleged offending.
Business sentiment among executives at China’s largest companies pulled back in September, the latest twist in a volatile period since July. Most underlying components of the MNI survey fared better than the overall measure, with the increase in August now looking more like an overreaction following July’s turmoil rather than a sustainable change in fortunes.
WHOLESALE RATES LOWER
Following the fall on Friday, and the subsequent drop in yields on Wall Street over the weekend, local swap rates are -4 bps lower across the board today. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.84%.
NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
After being stronger over the weekend, the Kiwi dollar has settled back to where it was at this time on Friday. It is still at 63.7 USc, at 88.8 AUc but a tad higher at 56.3 euro cents. The TWI-5 is still at 67.9. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.