A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; BNZ cuts saver rates, commodity prices hold, Crown accounts in surplus, real estate listings tight, building surge, swaps flatter, NZD holds

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes today.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
BNZ cut its online call rate from 0.75% to 0.55% and their one month term deposit rate to 0.90% from 1.00%.

COMMODITY PRICES HOLD
Commodity prices in May are at a similar level to what we have seen over the prior four months. ANZ’s index lifted by +1.0% in May, but is still back -11.7% y/y. In recent months, prices look to have found a floor that they are now bouncing along. Horticulture prices lifted (+6.2%) in the month with the start of new season crop sales. There were also lifts for seafood (+1.1%), forestry (+0.9%) and meat (+1.5%), making the gains broad-based. In aggregate, dairy prices were stable and aluminium prices slipped a touch (-1.0%). A lower NZD (except if exporting to Australia) provided a further boost for NZD prices, which were up +2.5% in May. This largely reversed the fall in April, leaving annual NZD prices back -3.5% y/y.

BACK TO BREAK-EVEN
The ten month Crown accounts are still in surplus, but only a tiny one (on an OBEGAL basis). These accounts represent a small slippage from the March ones.

WELLINGTON LISTINGS AMAZINGLY TIGHT
Barfoot’s Auckland sales and listing data for May out today pointed to rising volumes, but sagging prices. At the same time, realestate.co.nz listing inventory data for the whole country showed that listing inventories are at record lows of 12 weeks. In Auckland they are just 9 weeks, in Wellington an amazingly low 5 weeks, and in Christchurch they are 15 weeks.

STRONG CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
The value of residential building work in Auckland grew +13% in the March 2016 quarter compared with the December 2015 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Auckland residential construction topped $1 bln for the first time  with another half-billion of non-residential work. Every week this quarter about $120 mln worth of building work was put in place in Auckland. Nationally, the actual value of all building activity in the March 2016 quarter was $4.4 bln, comprising $2.8 bln of residential work and $1.6 bln of non-residential work.

USED IMPORTS SELL STRONGLY TOO
We have reported the strong commercial vehicle sales in May elsewhere with very healthy new car sales as well. Today we got data on the sales of used imports and they also are running at a strong rate. At 12,567 in May 2016, that is +12% above the level of May 2014

SWAP RATES LOWER AND FLATTER
Following Wall Street, local wholesale swap rates fell and flattened further today. The 1-5 curve is back to just +17 bps, the flattest it has been in over a year. The 2-10 is flatter too, now at just +57 bps which is its lowest since May 2015. NZ swap rates are here. The 90-day bank bill rate fell as well, now back -2 bps to 2.40%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDING ON
The Kiwi dollar holding on to the gains from midweek. Is now at 68.2 USc, at 94.3 AUc, and 61.2 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 72.3. Check our real-time charts here.

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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