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New Zealand’s Economy Grows 0.9% in Second Quarter

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The New Zealand’s economy grew at the same pace in the second quarter as the first quarter, but with stronger production.

Gross domestic product rose 0.9 percent in the second quarter, pushing annual growth to 3.6 percent, Statistics New Zealand reported on Thursday.

The increase in international demand for goods (dairy, meat and fruit) saw exports climb 4 percent, its biggest quarterly increase in two-decade.

While household spending surged by 1.9 percent, with Kiwis reportedly spending more on eating out, furnishing their houses and going away.

Construction grew 5 percent, with increases in all sub-industries.  There’s also been an increase in investment in residential building and construction-related investment.

Service industries grew 0.7 percent.  The main drivers were rental, hiring, real estate, retail and health care.

GDP per capita rose 0.5 percent in the June quarter, up from a 0.3 percent increase in March.

As for what this means for our hip pockets, ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie say any growth flows into the economy and eventually into wages.

“If we continue to see unemployment track down, wages will start to move up and people will start to get ahead.

“We’re seeing real wage growth at the moment of 1.5 percent, but I’m expecting that to grow to 2.5 percent over the next 24 months.”

Finance Minister Bill English says the annual results puts New Zealand in the top three in the OECD in terms of high growth rates.

It also puts the worth of New Zealand’s economy at $250 billion for the first time.

Mr English says the annual growth is more than double the OECD rate of 1.6 percent and compares with 3.3 percent in Australia, 2.2 percent in the UK and 1.2 percent in the US.

But international economist Ann Pettifor says New Zealand’s economy is “hugely imbalanced”.

Ms Pettifor, a UK-based economist and director of Prime: Policy Research in Macroeconomics, told Paul Henry central banks, including New Zealand’s Reserve Bank should be managing the way banks lend money.

“In Auckland, banks are lending crazy money on speculation – speculating that property prices will rise.

“It’s overvalued bricks and mortar and speculating that that price will continue rising forever and of course it won’t and when it starts falling then the debt has to be re-payed and the equity in the property falls.”

She says talk of New Zealand being a “rockstar economy” was “the kind of language we heard before the [Global Financial Crisis]”.

“But what’s interesting about New Zealand is that inequality rose in this country more than in any other developed country in the world between 1980 and the 2000s – that’s extraordinary.”

She says those levels of inequality lead to political instability which has led to the rise of the likes of Donald Trump and “fascists in Europe”.

Labour’s finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says everyday Kiwis won’t be feeling the benefits of GDP growth.

“The answer is because on a per person basis our economy is barely moving.

“We have seen enormous population growth in New Zealand in the last year and that generates economic activity. But what these numbers show is that we are not getting the increased economic value from that to mean real sustainable growth. This adds further to the need to review and adjust immigration policy to ensure it contributes to real growth.”

He says real disposable income per capita fell in the past quarter, meaning Kiwis “don’t feel they’re getting ahead”.

Mr Robertson says the economy is being kept afloat by population growth and an unsustainable housing bubble.

 

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Naira

Naira Hits Eight-Month High at 1,120/$ Amidst Central Bank Reforms

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New Naira Notes

The Nigerian Naira has surged to an eight-month high of 1,120 against the US dollar on the parallel market, commonly referred to as the black market.

This significant appreciation comes on the heels of a series of foreign exchange (FX) reforms initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which have effectively unlocked dollar liquidity within the economy.

According to data compiled from online platforms and street traders, the current exchange rate reflects a gain of 62.95% for the Naira against the dollar compared to its level of 1,825 per dollar in February 2024.

Market sentiment suggests that the recent strengthening of the Naira can be attributed to a subdued demand for the US dollar, coupled with ample liquidity in the market, particularly during the holiday period.

Despite a decline in external reserves, Nigeria’s currency strengthened to 1,230.61 per dollar on the official FX market before the holidays.

The recent uptick in the Naira’s value follows the CBN’s decision to review the exchange rate for Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators to 1,101 per dollar from 1,251 per dollar.

Also, the CBN announced plans to sell $15.88 million to 1,588 eligible BDCs, further bolstering dollar liquidity in the market.

The CBN’s proactive approach to FX management, including the resolution of foreign exchange backlogs amounting to US$7 billion, has instilled confidence among investors and market participants.

Furthermore, the apex bank’s commitment to implementing reforms aimed at enhancing transparency and efficiency in the FX market has yielded positive results.

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Forex

Zimbabwe’s Gold-Backed Currency Surges 0.2% Against US Dollar

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Zimbabwe’s newly introduced gold-backed currency, known as ZiG, surged by 0.2% against the US dollar on its second day of trading.

This development has sparked both cautious optimism and renewed concerns about the nation’s financial stability.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reported that the exchange rate for ZiG strengthened to 13.53 per US dollar, compared to its initial rate of 13.56 per dollar on its debut trading day.

The slight but significant uptick in value comes as a welcome sign for Zimbabwean authorities who have been striving to establish a functional local currency amid persistent economic challenges.

The ZiG currency, introduced as the country’s sixth attempt to stabilize its monetary system, is backed by 2,522 kilograms of gold and approximately $100 million in foreign currency reserves held by the central bank.

This gold backing is seen as a crucial step to restore confidence in Zimbabwe’s currency after years of hyperinflation and currency instability.

Despite the positive momentum witnessed in the currency market, the transition to ZiG has not been without its hurdles. Banks, retailers, and utilities across the nation have been grappling with the logistical challenges of adopting the new currency, leading to disruptions in commerce nationwide.

Many businesses are still in the process of updating their systems to accommodate ZiG transactions, causing delays and confusion in payment processing.

The Zimbabwean government has set a deadline of April 12 for businesses to fully transition their electronic systems to ZiG.

However, reports indicate that only a third of the financial institutions linked to the national payments platform have been able to process ZiG payments effectively, highlighting the ongoing challenges facing the currency transition.

While the surge in ZiG’s value against the US dollar offers a glimmer of hope for Zimbabwe’s economic prospects, experts caution that sustained stability will depend on factors beyond short-term fluctuations.

Market confidence, effective monetary policies, and structural reforms will all play crucial roles in determining the long-term viability of the ZiG currency and the broader economic recovery efforts in Zimbabwe.

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Naira

Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, April 9th, 2024

As of April 9th, 2024, the exchange rate for the US dollar to the Nigerian Naira stands at 1 USD to 1,200 NGN in the black market, also referred to as the parallel market or Aboki fx.

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New Naira notes

As of April 9th, 2024, the exchange rate for the US dollar to the Nigerian Naira stands at 1 USD to 1,200 NGN in the black market, also referred to as the parallel market or Aboki fx.

For those engaging in currency transactions in the Lagos Parallel Market (Black Market), buyers purchase a dollar for N1,240 and sell it at N1,230 on Monday, April 9th, 2024 based on information from Bureau De Change (BDC).

Meaning, the Naira exchange rate improved when compared to today’s rate below.

This black market rate signifies the value at which individuals can trade their dollars for Naira outside the official or regulated exchange channels.

Investors and participants closely monitor these parallel market rates for a more immediate reflection of currency dynamics.

How Much is Dollar to Naira Today in the Black Market?

Kindly be aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not acknowledge the existence of the parallel market, commonly referred to as the black market.

The CBN has advised individuals seeking to participate in Forex transactions to utilize official banking channels.

Black Market Dollar to Naira Exchange Rate

  • Buying Rate: N1,200
  • Selling Rate: N1,190

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