Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
BNZ has raised its Total Money floating rate by +11 bps today. They also raised their revolving credit rates by +10 bps. Heartland raised their reverse equity interest arte to 7.70%.
DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
BNZ has raised its 2-5 year term deposit rates from +10 to +15 bps.
RECORD DRUG SEIZURES
There has been a but of talk lately from politicians about drugs. Here are some stats: Customs made 4,165 seizures in 2016, including over 413 kilograms of methamphetamine and 1.1 tonne of its precursors - mainly ephedrine that could have yielded up to 809 kg of meth. These were records.
GLENN GIFTS MORE
Owen Glenn has gifted the University of Auckland Business School $2.6 mln to support innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the School and across the University, including a new innovation hub.
ONLLINE SPENDING AT LOCAL SITES SHINES
Total online retail spending by New Zealanders in January was up +16% compared to the previous January. The annual on-line spend is now estimated to be $3.8 bln. This is equivalent to 7.4% of total retail sales for the same period. Excluding the food and liquor sectors estimated online spending is around 10.8% of retail sales. Purchases from offshore online retailers were up +15% on the previous January. Spending at local sites was up +17% on January last year.
BIGGER TRADE DEFICIT
There was a NZ$285 mln deficit between goods exported and goods imported in January 2017. The recent rises in the value of dairy shows exporters are getting a better price for their milk powder exports than they were at this time last year. China continues to be our top destination for milk powder exports accounting for 32%, followed by the United Arab Emirates, which accounted for 7.6%.
'GALLOP TO A CANTER'
Business confidence eased in February. Other survey indicators were reined in slightly; agriculture dominated but a broader slowing is natural as we enter a mature and capacity-constricted stage in the economic expansion. Survey reporter ANZ said they are not reading too much into the slippage. Inflation expectations continue to nudge up and more firms think the next move for interest rates is up.
There was a slight slowing in the growth of debt in the local economy in January, although the pullback is pretty minor. The growth in household deposits is also slowing but at a faster rate than for borrowing. Of note however is that consumer debt borrowing (ie non-housing debt) is going the other way, picking up steam - although growth in credit cards and personal loans is still only at half the rate of growth in housing debt.
A BIG IMPROVER
For the second quarter in a row, Australia's current account deficit fell, and quite sharply. It fell by AU$6.3 bln to just 3.9 bln in the December quarter. Australia's net international investment position is a liability of AU$1.0 tln at 31 December 2016, decreasing -2% on the revised 30 September 2016 position. Markets, especially the currency markets, took this improvement in its stride because the result was almost exactly as expected. (From here, a current account surplus is possible in 2017, which would really be quite something unique for Australa.)
WHOLESALE RATES FIRMER
New Zealand wholesale swap rates rose +1 bp for all terms of one to five years, and +2 bps fo terms of seven and ten years. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.00%.
NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The NZD is basically unchanged today and now at 71.9 USc. On the cross rates we are at 93.5 AUc, and at 67.9 euro cents. The TWI-5 index is now at 77.3. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.