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
None here either.
HEALTHY EATING CHEAPER
Food prices were virtually unchanged in May from the same month a year ago. But you would hardly know that given the Stats NZ story-line put out about the rise in avocado prices (which they probably did to use the word 'smash' in their headline). Ignoring that, actually fruit and vegetable prices were down more than -10% year-on-year, meat-poultry-fish prices are unchanged as are grocery prices (and our own tracking confirms that). But beverages are up +4.6% and eating out is up +2.9%. Bottom line, eating healthy is cheaper than a year ago. Except for those pesky avocados. There are 1,350 avocado growers with over 4,000 hectares in production; they can't keep up. It is our third largest fresh fruit export ($80 mln / year) and we have yet to get access to the Chinese market.
TOURISM DATA CONFUSING
Data on tourist guest nights for April has been 'spoiled' by the timing of Easter 2018 compared to Easter 2017. Seasonal adjustment techniques aren't applied to this data and it isn't certain they would have handled this situation well anyway. But a sniff test suggests that the momentum is still there, with the overall occupancy rate hanging at its recent high levels for an April.
BIG TENDER, FEW WINNERS
The LGFA tendered $150 mln in four separate maturities today. Overall, this received bids for $375, a 2.5x coverage ratio. But only nine bidders won these tenders. The weighted average accepted yield was 3.35% with comparable maturities bringing just marginally lower yields.
The Housing Minister says 'almost 100' proposals have been received from developers in response to the Kiwibuild 'Buying off the plans' tender. He calls that 'overwhelming', but releases few details.
A TOP INSULT FOR HOSTS
You know American foreign policy is being managed by the very best brains they have when their Secretary of State declares that the US-North Korea talks will been held in "Singapore, Malaysia". This Administration really knows what it is doing, right down to the details.
BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES UNCHANGED
Local swap rates are virtually unchanged today. The UST 10yr is now at 2.97%, up +1 bp. The Aussie Govt 10yr is at 2.79, down -2 bps, the China Govt 10yr is at 3.69% (unchanged), and the NZ Govt 10 yr is at 3.03%, up +2 bps. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.00%.
BITCOIN IN THE DUMPS
The bitcoin price is clawing its way out of the US$6,456 hole it fell into this morning and is now at US$6,565 which is down -4.3% from this time yesterday. Prices at this level are just one third of the peak it reached on December 17, 2018.
NZ DOLLAR BECALMED
The NZD is virtually unchanged from where we opened this morning, now just on 70 USc. We are at 92.6 AUc and at 59.6 euro cents. That has the TWI-5 still at 73.
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