A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; NZ PMI; migration; international visitors; climate change legislation; global growth; rates up; NZD stable

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

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
There were no changes today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
There were no changes today.

NZ PMI
New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced a slightly improved level of expansion for February, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for February was 53.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 0.7 points up from January, and the second highest expansion level for the last nine months. Looking at the main sub-index values, both production (53.9) and new orders (54.7) showed a part recovery after a noticeable drop in expansion levels during January.  However, employment (50.8) dropped a further 1.2 points to its lowest level since August 2018. The slight improvement in February’s results also meant the proportion of positive comments for February (51.1%) was up on January (47.7%), but still down from December (60.6%) and November (60.1%).  Seasonal factors were still evident throughout the comments, although a number of respondents felt that February was business as usual.

MIGRATION
Migrant arrivals were provisionally estimated at 151,600 (± 1,500) and migrant departures at 93,200 (± 1,100) in the 12 months ended January 2019, Stats NZ said today. This resulted in a provisional estimate of annual net migration of 58,400 (± 1,600). In the year ended January 2019, New Zealand was the largest country of citizenship for migrant arrivals – 36,400 (± 600), and migrant departures – 44,100 (± 700). There was a net loss of 7,700 (± 800) New Zealand citizens – more left the country long-term than returned. Arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens were 115,300 (± 1,300), departures of non-New Zealand citizens was 49,100 (± 800).

INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS
Annual total traveller movements across New Zealand’s border reached 14 million for the first time in the year ended January 2019, Stats NZ said today. Annual total traveller movements are equivalent to the sum of all arrivals and departures for New Zealand-resident travellers, overseas visitors, and migrants. It took 18 months for annual total traveller movements to increase from 13 million to 14 million. The fastest-ever million gain occurred between 2003 and 2004, when it took only nine months for annual total traveller movements to increase from 7 million to 8 million. Visitor arrivals were 399,300 in the month of January 2019. This was up 21,100 (5.3 percent) from January 2018. Australia led the increase in visitor arrivals. China led the Asia region, compensating for falls in arrivals from some Asian countries. Total visitor arrivals for Asia were up 5,900 for the month of January 2019. Total visitor arrivals for the year ended January 2019 were 3.88 million, up 151,500 from the year ended January 2018.

CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION
The Coalition Government is working on the final details of climate change legislation that will set New Zealand on the path to being carbon zero by 2050. “This is ground-breaking legislation. No New Zealand Government has ever had to pass a law that over a 30 year timeframe seeks to stop climate pollution entering the atmosphere. It’s technical and difficult legislation we are working hard to finalise. Once we lock down the remaining details we will be in a position to announce the timeframe for the Bill’s introduction. I’m very keen to see it finalised and completed by the end of this year.” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

GLOBAL GROWTH
Rising global debt is slowing economic growth and making Canada, and the rest of the world, more vulnerable to another period of financial instability, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday. Speaking to an audience of financial professionals and students in Vancouver, she noted that while the global financial system is in a better place than it was a decade ago, trade uncertainties and other geopolitical risks could throw things off track. “Global debt now totals around $240 trillion – that’s $100 trillion higher than just before the financial crisis,” Wilkins said, adding: “That is a headwind to growth and makes us vulnerable to another period of financial instability.”

HEARTLAND UNVEILS NEW FUNDING ARM FOR REVERSE MORTGAGES
Heartland Group Holdings says its Australian subsidiary has established an Australian Dollar medium-term note programme. It has also completed its first senior unsecured bond placement of A$50 million with an Australian institutional investor. The money borrowed will be used to fund reverse mortgage lending.

LOCAL SWAP RATES SLIGHTLY UP
The NZ two-year swap rate is up +1 bp at 1.84%, the five-year is up +1 bp at 1.96% and the ten-year is up +1 bp at 2.36%.

NZ DOLLAR LITTLE CHANGED
The NZ dollar is little changed since this morning at US68.41 cents, AU96.69c, and €60.5c.

BITCOIN UP
Bitcoin is up about US$7 since this morning at US$3.867.47.

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