Jan 17 • 26M

Business 'jets' cooled, but consumer spending still warm...for now

Adrian Orr's Nov 23 'cool your jets' warning the RBNZ would engineer a recession to slow inflation shocked business confidence to record lows in Dec; Borrowing households brace for $7.2b mortgage hit

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TLDR: Another business confidence survey shows the Reserve Bank’s ‘cool your jets’ warning in late November that it wanted to engineer a recession did indeed shut down the ‘jets’ of businesses and investors.

But initial signs over ‘summer’ from the tills of retailers and bar owners show consumers are yet to really cool their spending jets dramatically. That may come later this year as those with fixed mortgages reset their rates, although the hit won’t be as dramatic as painted in the headlines.

Adrian Orr’s jawboning last year thumped business confidence to record lows. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

Free subscribers can hear more from a key business confidence survey and a research note on the mortgage hit in the podcast above, which includes interviews I did yesterday with NZIER’s Christina Leung and Westpac’s Satish Ranchod. Full paying subscribers can see and hear more detail and analysis on yesterday’s NZIER QSBO survey results and Westpac’s housing bulletin this morning below the fold and in an extended podcast above.

Briefly elsewhere in the news this morning:

  • China’s population fell last year for the first time in more than 60 years, which was a factor that slowed its GDP growth to just 3.0% for the year and below Beijing’s 5.5% target, although growth was stronger than most expected in the December quarter despite covid dramas;

  • the Bank of Japan is expected to pivot away from money printing later this afternoon and end two decades of near-zero interest rates because it finally has some inflation it needs to address;

  • Wellington’s bus operator, NZ Bus says it will soon resume more scheduled services as it has employed 100 new bus drivers, many from overseas; and,

  • Garage Project says one of its breweries has run out of CO2.1

Boardrooms heard Orr’s ‘cool your jets’, but not most consumers…yet

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