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
ANZ has reduced its 8 mnth term deposit rate by -25 bps to 3.30%. It has also increased its 9 mnth term deposit rate by +15 bps to 3.45%.
ANZ MONTHLY INFLATION GUAGE
Prices in the ANZ Monthly Inflation Gauge squeezed out a small 0.1% m/m lift in May following three consecutive monthly declines. In annual terms, the Gauge is up 2.3% and has been losing momentum since February. Inflationary pressures outside of housing have cooled. In annual terms, the Underlying Ex-housing Gauge has moderated from 1.2% y/y in February to just 0.6% y/y currently. ANZ expects a gradual lift in wages will support a broadening in non-tradeable inflationary pressures in time, but there is little evidence of this currently. The RBNZ will remain cautious in this environment, with interest rates on hold for a while yet.
ELECTRONIC CARD TRANSACTIONS
Retail card spending nudged up 0.4% in May 2018 led by consumer spending on household essentials such as groceries and fuel. This followed a 2.2% fall in April 2018. Retailers outside the food and fuel trading have had a relatively quiet month with half the retail industries showing falls. Spending on personal and household services and non-retail industries including travel, health, and wholesale also dropped in May. In actual terms, cardholders made 146 million transactions across all industries in May 2018, with an average value of $49 per transaction. The total amount spent using electronic cards was $7.1 billion.
The ANZ Truckometer Heavy Traffic Index rose 3.0% m-o-m in May, which saw annual growth pick up from a softer patch in Q1. When looking at the six month average the index shows some stabilisation after losing momentum in the first few months of 2018. This stabilisation provides a bit of reassurance at GDP growth should remain consistent and hold to a trend of ~3% after a period of downward bias. The Light Traffic Index also lifted 1.1% in May. This index gives a 6-month lead on the direction of the economy and is best interpreted as a measure of momentum. This rise also suggested that the economy should navigate the softer patch expected mid 2018.
EMPLOYER HIRING INTENTIONS
New Zealand employers are forecasting the weakest hiring intentions in more than eight years entering the third quarter of 2018 as a steady Outlook in the Manufacturing and Services sectors fails to offset a severe decline in Mining & Construction, even as employers in this sector continue to face a shortage of skilled and qualified workers. These are the results from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the upcoming quarter, which reports a Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of +8% for New Zealand. This is a decrease of three percentage points compared with the previous quarter, and five percentage points compared to the same time last year. The survey collects data from over 650 employers in New Zealand, part of a panel of nearly 60,000 employers in 44 countries and territories worldwide. Employment expectations in New Zealand remain positive despite reporting the most subdued results in more than eight years. New Zealand businesses are revealing cautious optimism and an ongoing wait-and-see approach as they continue to gain clarity into the new Government and recent employment law changes.
NEW WESTPAC NZ CFO
Westpac New Zealand (NZ) announced the appointment of Ian Hankins into the role of chief financial officer, subject to Reserve Bank of New Zealand approval. Mr Hankins has been acting in the position since mid-December 2017. Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean said after a global search, it was "heartening to know that Ian was an outstanding candidate among his international peers. Secondly, it is great to know that Westpac NZ has fostered an environment where we can grow and promote our own talent who is comparable on a global scale."
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES FIRM
Local swap rates are virtually unchanged today. The UST 10yr yield is down by -1 bp to 2.95%. The Aussie Govt 10 yr is now at 2.81%, up +4 bps. The China 10 yr is up +1 bp at 3.69%. And the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -3 bps at 3.01%. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.00%.
The bitcoin price is now at US$6,858, up 1.0% from this time yesterday
NZ DOLLAR FIRM
The NZD is marginally lower this afternoon, now at 70.2 USc. On the cross rates we are at 92.3 AUc and at 59.7 euro cents. That has the TWI-5 at 73.1.
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