Talk Money: December 9

Tony Field (Paul Henry)
Tony Field (Paul Henry)

It's only a day to go until The Reserve Bank's decision on whether to lower the Official Cash Rate from 2.75 percent.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's panel of experts says Graeme Wheeler should hold steady.

NZIER Senior Economist Christina Leung says the Bank has indicated that a further cut is likely at some point. But there has been a recovery in business and consumer confidence.

So it is looking like a close call.

Christina Leung says, "There are signs of a pick-up in activity, with the services sector remaining a standout. But there are also concerns about an impending drought here in New Zealand, as well as risks in the global economy."

On top of that there is the issue of what might happen to house prices if there were to be another cut to interest rates. It could encourage people to borrow more to invest in a property market in which values are already stretched.

The NZIER's survey asks business people and economists what they think the RBNZ should do, not what they think it will do.

But a poll by Reuters found 21 of 24 economists believe the RBNZ will cut rates.

Currency markets are more evenly split.

The Kiwi slipped to 66.40 US cents this morning. But it rose to just over 92 Australian cents.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate is 2 percent.

The Federal Reserve in the US has set rates at virtually zero.

But it is likely that next week the Fed will hike rates for the first time in nine years. Even a small hike would encourage investors to deposit more of their cash in the US banks.

PETROL PRICES

We talked yesterday about another possible cut to petrol prices.

It happened.

The standard national price for Unleaded 91 fell by two cents to just under $1.90 a litre. Diesel fell to just under $1.14.

More price cuts could be on the cards in the coming days.

Crude oil has fallen to around US $37 a barrel. But that is not what is imported into New Zealand. The commodity price is trading at over $60 a barrel.

But even so, there is pressure on the commodity price thanks to the global supply glut.

The pump price will also be influenced by the movement of the New Zealand dollar against the US currency.

BANKING BANANA SKINS

Technology and social media top the list of concerns for New Zealand's banking bosses.

PWC has issued its latest "Banking Banana Skins" to see what is worrying the world's banking executives.

New Zealand's banking sector is "more optimistic than any other country, registering the lowest levels of overall anxiety and the highest levels of preparedness of all countries surveyed."

But there are still worries.

Number one is Technology Risk. The greater the move to digital technology the greater the potential risks for the banks.

The second biggest concern is the risk of damage to their reputation from social media.

The third biggest concern is the risk of disruption to the global economic recovery.

Watch the video for the full Talk Money segment.

 

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