A review of things you need to know before you go home on Monday; markets on edge, retail sales grow strongly, service sector expands, population grows faster, swap rates drop, NZD holds

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There were no rate changes today.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank has a targeted rate for a 9 mth term, now 3.60%, up from 3.30%. SBS Bank lowered the rate for their term PIE to 3.60% from 3.65%.

NO BIG REACTION
Probably the big news is today is that markets are holding locally, following the Paris attacks. The NZD actually rose when it opened this morning and has drifted from there. Swap rates have fallen, but more in response to what happened on Wall Street last week, and not so much related to Paris. The NZX is only down -0.6% in mid-afternoon trading, a normal variation. And the ASX (NZT -2hrs) fell sharply on opening but has recovered almost all of that. But media reports are that Hong Kong (NZT -5 hrs) is poised to open “sharply lower”, and no word yet on Shanghai (NZT -5hrs). The real signals will come from Wall Street later tonight with many American traders getting in early signals into Frankfurt and London. European business news sources are all assuming China, Japan and other markets will be reacting to their terrible news. However, it seems the reactions are more to local factors, like the poor Japanese ‘flash’ GDP result.

IMPRESSIVE GROWTH
Retail sales growth in the September 2015 quarter was led by large gains in the motor-vehicle industry, Statistics New Zealand said today. The total sales value was $19.2 bln in the September 2015 quarter, +4.8% (+$874 mln) more than in the September 2014 quarter. The motor-vehicle industry contributed almost a quarter of the total increase with a +$193 mln rise on the same quarter last year. The other sector that starred was the appliance and electronic goods retailing which was +12% up on the same quarter a year ago.

‘IN THE GROOVE’
The BNZ-BusinessNZ survey of the service sector shows strong expansion in October, although at a lower growth rate than in September. The PSI was 56.2, down from 59 in the previous month. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion. New Orders and New Sales were the components that kept the data high, employment kept it restrained. The strongest growing area was in the north of the North Island, and it was very strong (over 60).

A POPULAR PLACE
New Zealand added 90,600 people in the year to September, meaning the population increased 2%, Statistics NZ data out today shows. That means our population is now 4,622,200. Given the unsettling things happening in Europe, it might get even more popular.

AN UNPOPULAR RESULT
The Japanese economy contracted in the third quarter on sluggish business investment, confirming what many economists had predicted: The nation fell into its second recession since Prime Minister Abe took office in December 2012. GDP declined an annualized -0.8% in the three months ended Sept. 30, following a revised -0.7% drop in the second quarter, the Cabinet Office said Monday. Economists had estimated a -0.2% decline was coming for the third quarter.

GETTING OUT THE PLUG
The Government is moving to ensure GST applies to all consumption that occurs in New Zealand. They are about to require offshore suppliers to register and return GST on goods and services like e-books, music, videos, and software. Non-resident suppliers will be required to register and return GST when their supplies of remote services to New Zealand residents exceed NZD$60,000 in a 12 month period. The new rules come into force on 1 October 2016. But Customs is working through issues related to ‘low value goods’ and this is another action likely to come up to plug the leaky GST revenue gathering regime.

WELCOME RAIN
The North Island has had good early-season rain today, especially over the dry Bay of Plenty and East Coast. Falls have been up to 10 mm/hr in many places, although most areas have seen 10-20 mm over 12 hours.

WHOLESALE RATES FALL
Local wholesale swap rates fell today by -2 to -6 bps in a flattening bias across the curve. The 90 day bank bill rate fell -3 bp to 2.87%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
Our currency limped along sideways today in subdued trading. It is now at 65.4 USc, at 91.9 AUc and 61 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 71.1. 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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