A review of things you need to know before you go home Friday; no rate changes, 'horrible' house sales volume falls, fast rising population, healthy factory activity, more corporate welfare, swaps drop again, NZD holds

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No rate changes were announced today – so far, at least.

DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here either.

“HORRIBLE” VOLUME FALL
“April was a horrible month for house sales activity, with sales volumes falling -7.5% from March in seasonally adjusted terms and plunging -32% from April last year. The latter fall is amplified by the timing of Easter, which was in March last year, and thus didn’t negatively affect activity in April 2016. But even taking March and April sales together shows that volumes across the two months were -21% down from a year earlier – the biggest annual decline since late 2010.” – Infometrics

2.15%, PLUS INFLATION
Strong demand has returned to the Treasury’s latest linker tender after a surprisingly weak April tender. The $100 mln September 2035 Government inflation-linked tender brought a coverage ratio of 4.7 times. But the weighted average yield virtually unchanged at 2.15%. Interestingly only seven bidders out of 41 won anything however.

+100,000 IN A YEAR
Data released by Statistics NZ today shows that our population to March 2017 grew by +100,000 to 4,761,600. That is growth of +2.145% in a year. And it is speeding up; the growth in the 90 days from January 1 to March 31 2017 was +28,100, the fastest quaterly growth ever recorded.

FROM FIRST TO FOURTH MOST POPULAR
Meanwhile in Australia, data out there shows fewer and fewer Kiwis are migrating there. In the year to March 2017 the number was sharply down +9,590. Five years earlier it was 35,680 in that year. Kiwi’s are down the list a long way now, out-paced by arrivals into the Lucky Country from Iraq of 9,780 in the year to March 2017, from China of +17,970, and from India of +22,730.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT
New Zealand’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) remained strong in April. It chimed in with a seasonally adjusted 56.8, from 58.0 in March – making the low point back in January, of 53.2, seem but a distant concern.

CORPORATE WELFARE GROWS
Budget 2017 will see $303.9 mln allocated to support the continuation of the New Zealand screen industry production grants, both globally and domestically, say Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry. This includes $222 mln over four years and $18 mln in 2016/17 for the International Screen Production Grant to bring international productions to New Zealand. Up to $63.9 mln over four years remains available to ensure the domestic component of the grant continues.

WHOLESALE RATES DROP AGAIN
Local swap rates bear-flattened again today. They down another -3 bps for two years, down another -4 bps for five years, and down another -4 bps for ten years. The 90 day bank bill rate however is unchanged at 1.98%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The NZD is at about the same level it was at this time yesterday at 68.4 USc, giving no more ground after yesterday’s surprisingly dovish RBNZ review. On the crosses we are at 92.6 AUc, and 62.9 euro cents. The TWI-5 is still at 73.5.

You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.

Daily exchange rates

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for(i=0;i

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