A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; no rate changes, confidence up, Auckland building consents rise, costs jump, ANZ profit high, swaps lower, NZD stable

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here either today.

FIGHTING GREMLINS
We have been having real back-end issues today. Not nice. Apologies if you have been unable to read this afternoon. (And a reason this report is abbreviated.)

HAPPY CAMPERS
Consumer confidence rose in February according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan survey. They pointed to a tightening job market. They also noted that it rose strongly in Wellington, was stable in Auckland, and fell in the South Island. The core driver for the rise isn’t current conditions; rather it is future condition expectations.

AN EXPENSIVE CITY
It has been an encouraging start to 2018 with building consents up strongly in Auckland compared to a year ago. They are up a strong +40% in the Queen City in January 2018 compared to January 2017. Not including Auckland, consent activity was down -3.4% on the same basis. Nationally, residential consents were up +9.4% in volume but up +24.4% in value which is a remarkable increase given the average building size was stable at 183 m2. The bias to Auckland was probably behind this shift, which is bad news for the Government’s plans for many more Auckland houses.

ANOTHER QUAKE BOOST?
Infometrics reports: “At $479 mln, the value of non-residential building consents was high for a January.  In seasonally adjusted terms, January’s consent result was the biggest we’ve seen since the $837 mln surge in March last year and the second-biggest result since August 2015. Bringing about this lift were increases in education, retail, accommodation, farm, and hospital building consents, but office building consents had another lacklustre month. We expect all six segments to grow over the coming year, even office buildings, which will be bolstered by post-quake replacement buildings and alterations work in Wellington.”

A FAT RESULT
ANZ NZ has posted a big jump in quarterly profit to $520 mln to December 2017. That puts them on track for a $2 bln tax-paid year to September 2018. In the year to December 2017 they had a tax-paid profit of 1.887 bln. However, loan demand is soft while deposit growth remains strong. That signals a poor outlook for offers to savers.

BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES LOWER
Wholesale swap rates have been down -1 and -2 bps across the curve. This follows Wall Street which took fright after the US Administration announced some new punitive tariffs will be imposed. The UST 10yr is down -6 bps at 2.81% and back where it was on in early February. The Aussie Govt 10 yr is down another -2 bps to 2.73%. The China 10 yr is also down by -1 bps to 3.85% while the NZ Govt 10 yr is unchanged at 2.97%. The 90 day bank bill rate is down -1 bp at 1.91% today.

BITCOIN UP
The bitcoin price is now at US$11,120 or +7.3% higher than this time yesterday.

NZ DOLLAR SLIPS
The Kiwi dollar fell again today. It is now at 71.7 USc, but it is up at 93.7 AUc and holding against the euro at 59.2 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 just under 73.6.

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End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk