Here's my summary of the key events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news banks might be thinking of reducing credit card interest rates, finally.
Firstly, in the US, the Trump administration is about to use sharply higher [alternative] growth rates in its first budget, according to leaks reported by the WSJ. And a separate report says they are considering 'revising' the way imports and exports are counted. Alternative data to meet campaign rhetoric is expanding from China and Russia to the USA, it seems.
And remember it is a holiday weekend in the US - President's Day, so data will be light until Wednesday, New Zealand time.
In China, they say they are getting good at controlling currency outflows. In January, the net outflow was US$19.2 bln according to their currency officials, down from US$46.3 bln in December and US$33.4 bln in November. However observant readers will note that the official January data is much higher than was reported unofficially earlier in the month.
And staying in China, they are reporting work is about to start on 35 new railway projects in 2017. Infrastructure stimulus continues unabated.
Singapore grew +1.8% in 2016 and their Govertnment says that will be about what they grow in 2017. Actually they said "+1 to +3%" for this year. That means New Zealand could out-grow Singapore this year.
In Australia, they are looking to raise their 6% renewables energy production up to achieve 40% of their energy needs from renewables by 2025 by a massive increase in solar capacity. (New Zealand is already at 38%.)
And staying in Australia, ANZ has broken ranks with the other majors and lowered 'some' credit card rates by "up to 2%". But the reductions are highly selective. Only two cards benefit; their Platinum card which gets the full -2% to 11.49%, and their "low rate Classic" card which gets only -1% to 12.49%. Credit card interest rates are also undefendable in New Zealand and we will be watching for reductions here.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield will start the week lower at 2.42%.
Oil prices are essentially unchanged today and still just over US$53 for the US benchmark, while the Brent benchmark is just over US$55.50 a barrel. Iran announced that it has found 2 bln bbl of shale oil reserves in its western Lorestan province. And the Americans added even more rigs into production last week. And further, Iraq's oil reserves are larger than previously estimated.
The gold price is -US$5 lower at US$1,235/oz.
And the New Zealand dollar will start the week a little lower at 71.8 USc. On the cross rates we are at 93.7 AU¢, and against the euro at 67.7 euro cents. The NZ TWI-5 index is at 77.3.
If you want to catch up with all the changes on Friday, we have an update here.
The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».