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
UDC has taken a -5 to -20 bps slice off all its term deposit rates today, but they did not change their call account rates.
Data out today shows that to June, construction concrete produced is still at a high level. This is a good indication of activity in a key component of our economy. The rate of growth is slowing mainly because the run-up started two years ago and the easy gains have been had. But we are still seeing healthy year-on-year rises. In Wellington there was 7,000 m3 extra poured, in Christchurch and extra 9,000 m3 poured. But there was no extra in Auckland where it held at 216,000 m3 for the quarter, the second highest period since 2009. Nationally, concrete poured was more than 6% higher in Q2 2015 than Q2 2104.
WE HAVE THE WORKFORCE
Westpac has estimated that Auckland can build up to 12,000 news houses per year without stressing the industry’s capacity to do so. Above that, more workers and infrastructure will be required. The Auckland Housing accord targets about 13,000 units to be built per year.
Our national birth rate has been steadily declining since the 1990s. However, in the June quarter we had a blip higher which stands out against the overall trend. We have a birth rate of 13 per 1000 population. In 1990 our birth rate was 18 per 1000. Our current death rate is 7 per 1000. Deep within this data is something of a relief. We have been tracking higher annual infant mortality rates from March 2014 and the jump recorded was worrying. But today’s data shows a dramatic improvement in the year to June, falling from 5.5 / 1000 live births to 4.2 / 1000.
All eyes will be on the dairy auction early tomorrow morning. A chorus of ‘experts’ have been signaling higher prices, very much because the futures market is showing gains. We will know soon.
For the first time ever, more than 1 mln people have been now automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver. 275,000 people enrolled by transferring in via their employer, and 1.26 mln people opted in through a provider. That brings the total to 2.54 mln people who are now enrolled. The growth rates are slowing however, probably held back somewhat by the end of the kick-start ‘free money’.
The Auditor General has decided to launch an inquiry into the Saudi Arabia ‘food security partnership’.
WHOLESALE RATES UNCHANGED
Swap rates were pretty much unchanged today, as was the 90 day bank bill rate. It is still at 2.90%, and below the OCR which is at 3%.
NZ DOLLAR RISES
Perhaps in anticipation of a ‘better’ dairy auction tomorrow, the NZ dollar has crept slightly higher today, to 65.9 USc, to 89.4 AUc, and to 59.5 euro cents. (For the record, there was no change today by the Chinese for their yuan rate.) The TWI is at 70.6. Check our real-time charts here.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.