Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.
TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here either.
SERVICE SECTOR DOING OK
The BNZ-BusinessNZ services survey did not have the sharp drop we saw for manufacturers. It was a little lower but still expanding healthily. BNZ said: "we judge the weakness in the PMI to be related to business investment caution, for now, while the ongoing robustness in the PSI suggest the more day-to-day business keeps ticking over relatively well."
Part of that manufacturing investment caution can now be evidenced in Gisborne where the large timber processor, Japanese-owned Juken New Zealand, is 'consulting with staff' to halve its processing by mothballing its plywood output.
TOURISM PRESSUE HIGH
Commercial tourist accommodation benefited from widespread growth in November 2017, with total guest nights up +4.3% from November 2016. International guest nights increased +5.6% on the same basis, with domestic guest nights close behind, up +3.1%. The hotel occupancy rate reached 77.2%, a record high for November. In fact in Auckland it reached 80.7% across all types of accommodation and hotels would have been higher than that. Auckland has a real tourist accommodation problem. March is the season peak.
FRAUD AND CORRUPTION
The SFO has had a guilty plea from a manager, Saul Roberts, at Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust (Te Roopu) and Trustee and employee of Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority (Te Kawerau), who faced five charges under section four of the Secret Commissions Act and today pleaded guilty to all charges. While acting as a Trustee at Te Kawerau in 2009, Roberts received a secret payment of $45,000 in return for withdrawing public submissions he had lodged on behalf of Te Kawerau in opposition to a proposed change to a District Plan. The company that made the payment was unaware that Roberts was acting without the knowledge and consent of his employer. In 2012, while employed by Te Roopu, Roberts received secret commission payments in return for contracting work to certain suppliers to Te Roopu, including businesses owned by his co-defendant, Atish Narayan. Roberts received a certain percentage of each invoice as a cash kickback. Narayan has already plead guilty and received a sentence of home detention and $14,000 reparations.
In Australia, Thorn who own Radio Rentals there, will pay NZ$24 mln in refunds and penalties for breaking Aussie consumer credit laws over 280,000 times.
MORE UPSIDE YET
Yesterday, the IMF forecast expanding global growth over 2018 and 2019. Today the World Bank said the global economy is experiencing a broad-based cyclical upturn, which is expected to be sustained over the next couple of years, although with downside risks. The IMF said global growth would hit +3.9% in 2018. But the World Bank has set its sights a little lower at +3.1%. In both cases this represents an immprovement from prior forecasts.
WHOLESALE RATES STEADY
Local swap rates are unchanged across the curve today. The UST 10yr has settled back -2 bps in the short-term US Budget 'resolution' at 2.65%. In China, their sovereign 10yr yield has also settled back to 4.05% retreating by -4 bps today. The NZ Govt 10yr yield is now at 3.01% (down -1 bp). And the Aussie 10yr is also -1 bp lower at 2.86%.
NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The NZ dollar is a little changed since this time Friday at 72.8 USc. We are still at 91.1 AUc and level pegging at 59.5 euro cents. This puts the TWI-5 at 74.1.
BITCOIN GOES SOFT
Bitcoin is now at US$10,787, down -2.6% from this time yesterday. In fact, four hours ago this price was thretening to go under US$10,000 (it got down to US$10,068) but the bear conviction deserted sellers and it has been up from there. (Gold is a little changed today.)
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.