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A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; lack of listings, China data impresses, sustainable farming, swap rates hold, 90 day bill rate falls

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; lack of listings, China data impresses, sustainable farming, swap rates hold, 90 day bill rate falls

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

TODAY'S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There are no rate changes to report today for borrowers.

TODAY'S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No rate changes here either.

LITTLE TO SELL
The latest QV and REINZ sales data for March shows sales volumes rising modestly but prices starting to take off yet again. Today we got listing inventory data from realestate.co.nz and that confirms the trends; everyone want to buy but few are sellers. The listing inventory levels are down to 12 weeks in Auckland, an amazingly low 6.6 weeks in Wellington, and 17 weeks in Christchurch. Nationally it is 15 weeks, the second lowest level of all time. Data for all regions is here.

A SURPRISE IMPROVER
China reported its first quarter GDP growth at +6.7% which was bang on market estimates and fractionally lower than Q4-2015 levels (+6.8%). Of more interest is that retail sales for March came in slightly above expectations as did industrial production. In fact, March factory output came in quite a bit better than analysts were expecting. Assuming this data is accurate (yes, I know ...), China is actually off to quite a good start in 2016. The impact for us? If China is growing, it is likely to buy more from us and send more tourists and students our way. Good production there also means demand for their output from the US is growing, a confirmation that the Americans are on the improve too. The NZX50 and the ASX200 are both higher today.

BUT ...
Oh, I forgot to mention that new loans in China soared in March, coming in with twice the growth than the markets were expecting. So the previous item was achieved based on much higher debt. Loan growth was far higher than output growth. That's a problem for the future.

PLEASE STOP
You know the low interest rate policies are all haywire when this happens. ZIRP causes chaos in housing and other asset markets. People respond to the financial signals they are given and the dumbest one is negative interest rates. Hardly surprising crazy attitudes result. And if you want to see nutty decisions and attitudes, just read the comments on our property stories. Low rates don't work. Lower rates aren't going to change anything in a positive way. So I hope the RBNZ changes course soon.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING
New Zealand is investing another $7 mln in 25 'sustainable farming' research projects. This year’s funding includes six projects in the horticulture and dairy industries, three in arable sector, two each in meat and fibre, and one in forestry. They include reducing nutrient run off on lowland farms, reducing use of antimicrobials when managing mastitis and increasing the market share for New Zealand olive oil.

WHOLESALE RATES HOLD
Wholesale swap rates are essentially unchanged today despite the rise on Wall Street in their earlier session today. NZ swap rates are here. But the 90-day bank bill rate is sharply lower, down -3 bps at 2.33%.

NZ DOLLAR RANGES
The reasonably good data out of China today has us range-trading against the USD, lower against the AUD and up against the euro. The NZD is now at 68.8 USc, at 89.3 AUc and 61.1 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 71.9. Check our real-time charts here.

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10 Comments

Low rates don't work. Lower rates aren't going to change anything in a positive way. So I hope the RBNZ changes course soon.

One area of concern abroad for Australia’s banks is New Zealand, where they are heavily represented and where international milk prices have plunged and house prices have surged. Read Boomberg story

I think that I can see the sense in raising and lowering the OCR when we are in the middle to high end of the interest spectrum. However I am doubting that it works when we are the low end of the interest rate spectrum. The assumption of a linear model across the full spectrum of economic conditions may very well be flawed.

Exactly. They if they were really concerned about any bubble, the easiest way to kill is with consistent increases. Any economy that goes down with it wasn't worth a damn, i.e. unsustainable and built on excessive borrowing.

In other words, I believe they should do the complete opposite and raise and raise and raise. Get the pain over and done with so we can rebuild a more realistic economic situation and monetary system. Like pulling tooth! Slow and excruciatingly painful? or a quick sharp pull with some blood...but all better now than waiting for the infection.

and throw us into a mega recession that would last a decade? you are mad.

Steven, you're getting that regardless. I'm saying remove the rot and the oxides and start over fresh. That the only way out of this. Going the ZIRP or NIRP road is not the answer. It's not madness to eradicate excessive debt in this fashion. Only the over exposed will get destroyed and rightly so as they are dragging us all if a economic cliff. I'll never support a debt jubilee forgiveness plan which lets the irresponsible off the hook.

" Loan growth was far higher than output growth. That's a problem for the future."

I know of another country running an economic model which is very similar.........

Watch Bernie Sanders in New York on Tuesday. Remember you saw it here first.

Fingers crossed for a big Trump win too.

Trump for the win - he has great taste on women too...Melania Trump is a babe!

Need to know....A few niggling facts to make your head spin...and spark your Interest.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-giant-bonfire-of-debt-needs-one-...

Days to the General Election: 23
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.