A review of things you need to know before you go home on Wednesday; rate cuts, dairy price falls, big migration and visitor rises, fast mortgage growth, comparing petrol and electric, swap rates rise

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

TODAY’S MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Cooperative Bank cut 4 and 5 year fixed rates and is now the only bank to have all its 1-5 year rates below 5%.

TODAY’S DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Cooperative Bank also cut most of its term deposit rates. Going the other way, NZCU Baywide raised most of theirs and they are now very competitive.

DAIRY PRICES FALL
At today’s GlobalDairyTrade auction, prices fell -3.1%, ending a string of sharp rises. The market may have gotten ahead of itself.

THE BIG TIME
Permanent new migration gains in September were the second highest of any month since ever at +7,069 and easily the highest September month ever. (February is usually the seasonal peak month.)

A GOOD TIME
Visitor arrivals were also impressive and especially for a September. Stats NZ also noted that us Kiwis were traveling freely also in the month, many on tours to the RWC.

LABOUR COSTS UP
StatisticsNZ also release June labour cost data today. It showed modest rises at the same rate as for the March quarter.

MORE BUBBLE EVIDENCE
Mortgage approvals data for last week is out today and at first sight it seem unremarkable – just up a whisker from the week before. But when you look at the year-on-year changes the numbers are amazing. New housing loan values are up +31.3% from a year ago; new loan transactions are up +15.8%. More bubble evidence, especially when you realise this data is basically now greeted with a yawn.

CARD HAPPY
In September we used our credit cards +3% more domestically, billing $81 mln more this year than last. But we are using them more overseas, with those billing +10.5% higher than a year ago (that is an extra $44 mln). Matches what the travel data shows. Despite all this, the balances we have using our credit cards rose at their slowest pace of the year.

ANZ FASTPAY ADDS EFTPOS
ANZ’s FastPay mobile phone application has been upgraded to include EFTPOS. The bank says this will mean merchants using it can process EFTPOS payments via both iPhones and Android phones, as well as payments via Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards.

PETROL OR ELECTRIC?
Want to compare the total cost of ownership between a petrol* car and an electric car? A new tool was released today by EECA that will help do that, especially for business owners (who may not readily do the comparison). (*Don’t use diesel; its likely to be dirty and official statements may not be truthful.)

ENCOURAGING INNOVATION?
The Government is to change the tax law to allow research that does not end up with a commercial result to be deducted as an expense, by companies. Presently the IRD does not allow this, so companies only work on ‘certainties’. The hope is that this will encourage more research risk-taking (ie ‘innovation’).

WHOLESALE RATES UP
The 90-day bank bill rate is unchanged at 2.85% today, but swap rates have risen by +1 bp to +4 bp in a steepening bias across the curve.

NZ DOLLAR UNCHANGED
The Kiwi dollar has hovered around the same levels it was after it fell following the weak dairy auction result and it is now back at 67.5 USc. It is holding against the Aussie at 92.8 AUc and against the euro at 59.4 euro cents. The TWI-5 is at 71.6. 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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