A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; Bumper Christmas season for retailers, migration hits another record, Anna Curzon appointed Xero NZ boss

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

As reported here, ASB has increased its 4 and 5-year fixed-term residential mortgage rates to 5.40% and 5.50% respectively. It has increased its 3, 4 and 5-year special LVR <80% rates. 

Sovereign also hiked its Standard Go 4 and 5-year home loan rates to 5.40% and 5.50% and upped its special LVR <80% rates. 

ANZ has cut its shorter term deposit rates by between 5 and 25 basis points, and its longer term deposit rates by between 5 and 10 basis points. It has cut its 6-month rate by 5bps to 3.30% and its 2-year rate by 5bps to 3.60%. 

Kiwibank has cut its Online Call interest rate from 2.50% to 2.25%. 

BNZ has sliced its savings rate from 1.90% to 1.70%

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index has risen 4.7 points to 110.7 in the December quarter. This follows sharp declines earlier in the year, and returns the index to around average levels. 

Westpac Senior Economist Satish Ranchhod says, “Households’ appetite to spend has increased, and low interest rates are clearly playing a role. Combined with an improved outlook for the coming year and low inflation, low borrowing costs are making it very attractive for consumers to purchase big ticket items like home furnishings. This signals a bumper Christmas season for many retailers.”

Yet he warns, “Households will need to be careful that Christmas cheer doesn’t result in a nasty hangover in the New Year. Low interest rates mean that many households are currently less concerned about paying down debt. But growth is set to slow over the coming year and unemployment is likely to increase.”

Surging migration flows continue to break all previous records with net migration increasing more than threefold over the last two years. The latest figures from Statistics NZ show there was a record net migration gain of 63,659 people in the year to November compared with a net gain of just 48,836 in the year to November 2014, and just 19,478 in the year to November 2013.

The biggest source country for migrants was India with a net gain of 13,268 people from that country in the year to November, followed by China 8759, the Philippines 5039 and the UK 3680. There was a net gain of 371 people from Australia, compared to a net loss of 4542 people to Australia in the year to November 2014.

Xero has announced the appointment of Anna Curzon as its New Zealand managing director to replace Victoria Crone, who resigned last week to run for Auckland Mayor. Curzon, the former general manager of Internet Banking at ASB, and more recently the general manager of Digital First at Spark, will take up the new role at the start of February. 

Xero's chief executive Rod Drury says,  “We’ve worked alongside Anna for many years. Her blend of technology and digital banking experience is ideal for the next phase of our New Zealand strategy as we digitally connect Banks, large corporates and Government into our network of small businesses. We’ve been fans of Anna for a long time and are delighted to have her lead our New Zealand business.” 

A former Kerikeri man, who devised a tax evasion scheme involving Maori trusts, has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail. Timothy Vivian Meredith has been sentenced in the Whangarei District Court on tax offences totalling nearly $500,000 relating to a number of businesses. 

Meredith, who the Inland Revenue describes as being highly skilled in accounting and information technology, used the Nga Uri O Tupoto Incorporation bank account with three others to effectively  ”wash” his and their income from various businesses to evade tax.

The 90-day bank bill rate is down 3bps since Friday to 2.73%.

The NZ dollar has strengthened against the Aussie throughout the day to 94.0 AUc, further to migration stats revealing more people are coming to New Zealand from Australia, than the other way around. The NZD has bounced around against the USD, but currently sits close to where it was at the start of the day, at 67.4 USc. The TWI-5 is at 72.7. Check our real-time charts here.

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BNZ has sliced its savings rate from 1.90% to 1.70%

Saving for what exactly, when the OCR is 2.5% and the RBNZ claims The Bank currently judges that the nominal neutral 90-day interest rate sits at 4.5 percent? Read more

How much longer do the deposit underwriters of NZ bank capital have to endure these derisory offers of unsecured, non-risk adjusted returns?

30+ years, but ite simple remove your money.

--edit-- frankly even 10% probably wouldnt cover the risk and probable impact. Then however at 10% that means we'd have no economy to pay it.

Just take your money out of the cloud where it is stored. Won't take up too much space in your wallet.

relying on interest of your trading profits for you retirement Stephen?

No not really, I have professional trading skills, but that is not the case for my son or my aged parents and their cohort.

I have mentioned this before - I have made it my business to own that which is subject to future financial returns being pulled forward to today as interest rates have collapsed - asset inflation, not wage inflation. Read more

So where do I put my nest egg? Please don't say housing.

You will have to work that out for yourself - I am not a NZ registered financial advisor.

very good question, the government has made investing in property more advantaged than other investing.
but if you don't like those pesky tenants and putting in the extra hours looking after them then you need to be learned at other types of investing or have a very good FA.
my pick learn yourself start small, read a lot, listen to some very very successful people.
hint the richest guys in the world did not do it through property