A review of things you need to know before you go home Thursday; no rate changes, record used imports, Crown surplus higher, pay with Fitbit, Aussie trade surplus, but retail drops, swaps and NZD lower

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report again today.

DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No rate changes here either.

USED IMPORTS A RECORD
It has been a day of data that has surprised on the upside. Firstly, data for used imported cars sold in September came in at 13,645 which was +8.1% higher than for September a year ago. That means 161,162 used imports came into the country in the past year, a new record, and that compares with 107,649 new cars. All up that is 319,266 additional new vehicles in twelve months. (But don't forget, vehicle scrappage in a year is about -150,000 per year or roughly -60,000 NZ-new cars and -90,000 used-imports scrapped each year. The average age a NZ car gets scrapped is 18 yrs.)

UPSIDE SURPRISE II
And the Government surplus came in better than expected and better than predicted in the pre-election fiscal update. There was a $4.1 bln surplus in the year to June 30, 2017 on an OBEGAL basis, and a $12.3 bln surplus on a full operating balance basis. National's Steven Joyce warned against spending it all at once and he warns of a softer growth outlook.

ASB ENABLING FITBIT PAYMENTS
ASB says customers with Fitbit "ionic" smartwatches will be able to use Visa debit and credit cards to make contactless payments with a tap of the watch. The ionic smartwatches were launched globally last month and ASB says the payments function will be available soon.

GOOD RESULT, OCKER ...
Australia posted a +AU$900 mln trade surplus (goods and services) in August, far above the more than -AU$2 bln deficit posted in the previous two years. On an annual basis, the surplus was AU$16.9 bln compared with a -AU$34.9 bln deficit for the full year to August 2016.

... BUT RETAIL TROUBLE
But Australia also posted a not-do-good result for retail sales, with an unexpected drop in August from July. Year-on-year for August, the rise is only +2.8%. On an annual basis, retail sales are up +2.9%. But the monthly drop is what has caught the market's attention, and that has buffeted the Aussie dollar.

WHOLESALE RATES DOWN AGAIN
Local swap rates are down for a third day in a row falling -1 bp for terms 1 and 2 years, -2 bps for terms to 5 years, and -3 bps for seven and ten year terms. The 90 day bank bill rate is also lower by -1 bp to 1.93%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The NZ dollar is lower today at 71.6 USc. On the cross rates we are stable however at 91.4 AUc but we are up a bit at 60.9 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 74.4. The bitcoin price is -1.7% lower today at US$4,238.

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6 Comments

The ASX is severely unbalanced with 50% of capitalization concentrated in a handful of stocks (mining behemoths, supermarket duopoly, and mortgage mills). Good article that will play on the Aussie psyche which tends to be captured by rankings and cross-country comparisons. All good for the Olympic games, but needs more sobriety and introspection related to economics (mind you, NZ is not much different).

Recently on business trip to Vietnam. Internet speeds are far superior to NZ.

How come the REINZ figures for September aren't out yet ?

They come out near the middle of the month following.

Australia posted a +AU$900 mln trade surplus (goods and services) in August, far above the more than -AU$2 bln deficit posted in the previous two years. On an annual basis, the surplus was AU$16.9 bln compared with a -AU$34.9 bln deficit for the full year to August 2016.

A much needed buffer to fund hefty military aerial hardware expenditure.

The US State Department notified Congress September 29 of a potential sale of $815 million worth of GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs - Increment II (SDB II) sanctioned by the department to ship to Australia, according to an October 2 news release.

According to the Pentagon's arms export branch, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Canberra requested the bombs. "The proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force," the agency said. Read more

NZX50 hits all-time high today. Party on.

https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZSX/securities/FNZ