What The Kākā is watching in Oct/Nov/Dec
Watching and covering RBNZ's Financial Stability Report and Stats NZ's labour market data next Thursday; the Fed's decision next Friday morning; plus a schedule for hoons, podcasts & AMAs
TLDR: This is The Kākā’s regularly updated diary of news and data events I’ll be watching and covering in more depth in the months ahead, as well the schedule for planned ‘When The Facts Change’ podcasts, ‘Hoon’ webinars, and ‘Ask Me Anything’ chat sessions.
It also includes my prospective speaking engagements, work travel plans out of Wellington and regular media output and appearances to give paying subscribers an idea of what I’m doing and producing as public interest journalism on housing unaffordability, climate change inaction and child poverty reduction.
I make my journalism available to paying subscribers first and in detail via email, webinars and the Substack App. Then I open it up and make it available where I can to the public on Substack’s website, through emails to non-paying email subscribers, and through my free weekly podcast for the public called When The Facts Change via The Spinoff. I also write occasionally on Interest.co.nz, which is freely available.
I’ll update and publish this diary weekly for paying subscribers, who are also welcome to suggest future events for coverage in the comments below. I often briefly update the results of these events for paying subscribers in The Kākā’s chat section of the Substack App (currently only on iOs) during the day.
For the rest of October
Fri Oct 28 - Ask Me Anything session at midday for an hour and ‘Hoon’ webinar with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Fri Oct 28 - The Bank of Japan is expected to leave its Yield Curve Control policy (money printing to buy Japanese Government bonds to keep its long term bond yields around 0.0% and below 0.25%) in place, but any change after six years to support a sagging yen could unleash global financial market turmoil. Inflation is now above the Bank’s 2% target.
Sat Oct 29 - I’ll be appearing on the panel on TV3’s The Nation from 10.30 am from TV3’s Auckland studio.
Mon Oct 31 - Te Pūtea Matua is scheduled to release its new bank lending data for the month of Sept at 3pm. I’ll provide a short update in the chat section of the Substack App soon after 3pm.
Tues Nov 1 - The Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to release its monthly monetary policy decision around 4.30pm NZ Time. Economists expect another 25 basis point hike in Australia’s version of the official cash rate to 2.80%
Weds Nov 2 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to release labour market data for the September quarter at 10.45 am.
Weds Nov 2 - Te Pūtea Matua (RBNZ) is scheduled to release its six-monthly Financial Stability Report (FSR) at 2pm and hold a news conference at 3pm.
Thurs Nov 3 - The US Federal Reserve is expected to put up its Federal Funds Rate, which is its version of our Official Cash Rate and sets the base for short term interest rates globally. It is expected to hike the rate by 75 basis points for a fourth consecutive time to a range of 3.75% to 4.0%. However, commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be closely watched for signs of slowing the rate hikes in future as stress builds inside the global financial system and the US economy from the fastest monetary policy tightening since 1979.
Fri Nov 4 - I’m speaking at corporate event in Auckland at 9am.1
Fri Nov 4 - Ask Me Anything session at midday for an hour and ‘Hoon’ webinar with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Tues Nov 8 - Parliament resumes for its penultimate three-week sitting session of the year with Question Time at 2pm, which I’ll attend and report on.
Tues Nov 8 - US Congressional elections are due to decide whether the Democrats retain control of the Senate and whether Republicans win back control of the House of Representatives. Nate Silverman’s Fivethirtyeight.com forecasts the Republicans will win back the house and forecasts the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
Tues Nov 8 - Te Pūtea Matua is scheduled to release its October quarterly survey of expectations for inflation and other indicators by forecasters, economists and industry leaders at 3pm. It is sometimes closely watched as a leading indicator of inflationary expectations and has nudged the central bank in one direction or the other in the past. I’ll provide a short update in the chat section of the Substack App soon after 3pm.
Weds Nov 9 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to release electronic transactions data on retail trade in October at 10.45 am.
Thurs Nov 10 - I’ll be speaking at a corporate event at 5pm in Wellington.
Fri Nov 11 - Ask Me Anything session at midday for an hour and ‘Hoon’ webinar with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Fri Nov 11 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to release food and rental price data for October at 10.45 am.
Tues Nov 15 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to release travel and migration data for September at 10.45 am.
Tues Nov 15 - Te Pūtea Matua is scheduled to release its quarterly survey of household inflation expectations for the December quarter. It is sometimes closely watched as a leading indicator of inflationary expectations and has nudged the central bank in one direction or the other in the past. I’ll provide a short update in the chat section of the Substack App soon after 3pm.
Fri Nov 18 - Ask Me Anything session at midday for an hour and ‘Hoon’ webinar with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Weds Nov 23 - I’m scheduled to deliver my quarterly Business Update for the Auckland Chamber of Commerce’s members from 7.30 am at the Cordis Hotel.
Weds Nov 23 - Te Pūtea Matua is scheduled to release its quarterly Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) and make its last monetary policy decision of the year at 2pm. It then will hold a news conference at 3pm, which I’ll attend and report from. Economists are expecting the central bank to hike the OCR by 75 basis points to 4.25%, before hiking again next on February 22 by around 50 basis points.
Fri Nov 25 - Lynn and I fly to Melbourne for a two-week holiday. We’ll keep filing the daily news email over that time, but won’t do the Ask Me Anythings and Hoons on Nov 25 or Dec 2.
Fri Nov 25 - Statistics NZ scheduled to publish retail trade data for the September quarter at 10.45 am.
Weds Nov 30 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to publish building consents data for October at 10.45 am.
Tues Dec 6 - Parliament resumes for a final two-week sitting session of the year at 2pm with Question Time.
Thurs Dec 8 - Lynn and I arrive back in Wellington late in thee day from our two-week holiday in Australia.
Fri Dec 9 - Ask Me Anything session at midday for an hour and ‘Hoon’ webinar with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Sat Dec 10 - A by-election in the Hamilton West electorate us due to be held to replace former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma, who resigned on Oct 18. National, who have yet to select a candidate, are expected to win a seat held by National MP Tim Macindoe for four terms before Sharma won in the 2020 ‘red wave’ election dominated by Jacinda Ardern’s popularity after the first year of Covid (but not the second year). Macindoe said on Oct 26 he would not stand again.
Weds Dec 14 - Final Parliamentary session of the year.
Thurs Dec 15 - Statistics NZ is scheduled to publish September quarter GDP data at 10.45 am.
Fri Dec 16 - Final Ask Me Anything session for 2022 at midday for an hour and final ‘Hoon’ webinar for 2022 with co-host Peter Bale at 5pm for an hour.
Mon Dec 20 - Potentially final Cabinet meeting of the year.
I’ll keep updating this constantly and put out a fresh one for the coming three months on Monday mornings. I welcome suggestions from paying subscribers for coverage of events and data.
How it turned out in late October
Fri Oct 28 - My weekly ‘When The Facts Change’ podcast was released via The Spinoff and various podcast platforms where anyone can subscribe for free, including Apple, Spotify and Google. This week’s episode was on how environmental spending is monitored and features an interview with Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton on this report from last week.
Thurs Oct 27 - Te Pūtea Matua (RBNZ) released new housing lending data for the month of September, showing a seasonally adjusted fall of 3% to $5.1b in September from August, taking the fall from a year ago to 25.9%.
Thurs Oct 27 - The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported US GDP bounced at an annualised rate of 2.6% in the September quarter, which was much better than the contractions of 0.6% and 1.6% reported respectively in the March and June quarters and better than expected. However, the number was driven mostly by weak consumer demand reducing imports and reducing the US trade deficit.
The FT’s-$$$ Colby Smith had this insight: “The most important proxy for underlying demand in the economy — final sales to domestic purchasers, excluding government spending — rose just 0.1%. That is down from 0.5% in the second quarter and 2.1%.”
So what? - Most economists still see the US economy headed towards a recession by early next year because of the Fed’s tightening this year, which has been the fastest since 1979 and has seen 30 year mortgage rates jump from under 3% to over 7%. US house building and house prices are both now dropping fast.
The context - The key event in the last week was a Wall Street Journal piece by ‘Fed Whisperer’ journalist signalling a pivot from next month. The US 10 year yield, which sets the base for global interest rates and is closely watched here by fixed rate mortgage setters, fell decisively below 4% this morning. It fell 8 basis points to 3.92% this morning and is also well below last week’s 15-year high of 4.27%.
So really what? - This will take pressure off the big four banks here in Aotearoa to put up their best fixed mortgage rates by more in the next week before they see the whites of the Fed’s eyes, and we hear more comments from Adrian Orr next Wednesday.
Oct 27 - The European Central Bank announced it doubled its key interest rate to 1.5%, delivering a second 75 basis point ‘super-bazooka’ rate hike that was in line with market expectations and lifting rates to their highest level since 2009. Euro zone inflation was 9.9% in September from a year ago.
So what? ECB President Christine Lagarde appeared to soften her rhetoric about future rate hikes, saying the central bank was increasingly aware of the risk of a recession and its effects on the poor. Markets took this as another sign of a ‘dovish pivot’. The German two year bund yield fell 3 basis points to 1.97% overnight.
I’ll specify where and when it is if it’s a publicly known event, and whether it’s open for the public to attend.