A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; students and Kiwis drive migration, tourism records, spending more, China stumbles, IAG shows Kiwi strength, swap rates flat

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There are no changes to report today.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Only the Napier Building Society announced rate changes today.

FLYING HOME
Annual net migration pushed up to another record high in July, with a net inflow of 59,639 people. A sharp lift in arrivals in the month was behind this strong result, as student arrivals surged.  Non-student arrivals have also grown at a strong clip in recent months. In the three months to July, non-student arrival numbers are up +9.3% from a year earlier on the back of an +11% increase in arrivals on work visas. Germany and South Africa were the main countries providing greater arrivals on work visas, with Canada and the Philippines not far behind. New Zealanders are continuing to return home from Australia at an increasing rate. The number who returned in the three months to July (3,708 people) was the highest for this three-month period on record.

MORE VISITORS, BIGGER SPENDERS
International visitor arrivals in July were up +6% from their July 2014 level and cracked the 3 million mark on an annual basis for the first time. Arrivals growth remains particularly strong from Australia, the US, China, and other parts of Asia. With the lower exchange rate, visitor budgets are stretching further. The Prime Minister seems to have parleyed his position and influence into driving this sector to achieve record results.

DEBT CARDS POPULAR
Perhaps reflecting the strong tourism data, today’s “credit card” data release for July was also strong with spending in NZ up almost +10% year-on-year. But for the first time in a very long time we did not see a rise in credit limits. However they are still at an eye-watering $22 bln.

CHINA AND JAPAN
On the international front, there are mixed messages from the big Asian economies. Chinese equity markets are down more than -1% again today, compounding their recent weakness (mitigated by official intervention). And the flash mid-sized manufacturing company PMI has also come in sharply weaker, at more than a 6 year low. Typically this index sinks in July, but the level down this year has reached a new low. And this hasn’t helped stock market sentiment today. Going the other way, Japan’s factory PMI has come in surprisingly strongly, at a seven month high and “rising at a faster rate”.

DOMINANCE EQUALS PROFIT
Insurance Australia Group, who hold a dominant position in the New Zealand general insurance market, has posted a -41% drop in annual profit group-wide after a sharp rise in natural disaster claims outside NZ. The results on this side of the ditch very much better and are here.

WHOLESALE RATES FLATTENS
Swap rates fell at the long end and are unchanged at the short end today. The 90 day bank bill rate was up +1 bp to 2.91% The 2-10 curve is now the lowest it has been since early June. Rising realisation that the US Fed may not hike in September after all is behind the risk aversion..

NZ DOLLAR ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED
Another day of very little movement for our currency. It is at 66.1 USc, higher at 90.6 AUc, and 58.7 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 70.5. 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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