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.
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.
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.
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.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.