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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, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Naira

Independence Day: How Naira Fell Against Dollar From 65 Kobo in 1973 to N737 in 2022

In 1987, you will need N4 to buy $1. In 1989, it was N7.39 kobo to $1. By the time General Ibrahim Babangida left power in 1993, the naira had dramatically stumbled against the dollar, exchanging at N17 to $1. 

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Naira to Dollar Exchange- Investors King Rate - Investors King

On this day, 62 years ago, Nigeria got her independence from the defunct British Empire. The country did not however adopt a new currency until 1973. On the 1st of January 1973, the British pound was officially changed to the Naira as Nigerian currency at an exchange rate of £1 to N2. 

Nigerian naira was very strong at the time that it was ranked ahead of the U.S Dollar. To buy one dollar in 1973, you needed just 65 kobo. Between 1973 to 1985, the Naira was so strong that you never needed up to a naira to buy a dollar. 

In fact, in 1980, all you needed to buy a dollar was just 55 kobo. 

However, in 1986, as a twist of fate, Nigeria found itself in a perilous situation. The economy started declining after the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida requested a bailout from multilateral financial institutions. 

The International Monetary  (IMF) was Babangida’s point of call. However, like a devil, IMF would not give him something without taking something in return. IMF gave him a Second Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM) as part of the reform that Nigeria must undertake. 

As a military desperado who was looking for a bailout and international acceptance, Babangida obliged to the conditions. 

SFEM, thereafter, served as Nigeria’s second official foreign exchange market which was opened to both Nigerians and foreigners. 

Before SFEM, it was the sole duty of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fix the exchange rate. The CBN at the time was meticulous in its job by restricting importation and implementing closely monitored foreign exchange control. These had helped the naira to trade fairly strongly against the dollar in the 1970s and early 1980s. 

It was popularly believed that IMF was not comfortable with the CBN’s oversight over the foreign exchange. 

By and large, by the end of 1986, the dollar had risen against the naira by more than 100%. In 1987, you will need N4 to buy $1. In 1989, it was N7.39 kobo to $1. By the time General Ibrahim Babangida left power in 1993, the naira had dramatically stumbled against the dollar, exchanging at N17 to $1. 

The Naira decline did not stop with the exit of General Ibrahim Babangida. By the time he left the Aso Rock, Nigeria’s economy was already in shambles. His exit which people hoped will bring some relief only brought more hardship as General Sanni Abacha overthrew the interim government of Chief Earnest Shonekan.

Abacha’s regime was characterised by widespread embezzlement of public funds in dollars. There was corruption in almost all facets of the economy. From government offices to banking institutions. Little wonder the country still receives some of his oversea stash funds to date. 

General Sanni Abacha closely monitored the CBN and ensured the dollar was majorly made available to himself and his friends. The CBN introduced the Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market in 1985 to closely monitor the movement of dollars. The thirst for importation drastically reduced which made the official rate of naira to dollar stand around N22 to $1 for five years which Abacha used in power before his death.

However, the commercial banks picked a flaw to exploit AFEM. Since the CBN’s AFEM requires all commercial banks to request dollars from the CBN, bankers came up with what was known as ‘blended’ rate. 

For instance, if an importer requests $2 million from its bank, the bank will inflate the figure to $5 million knowing full well that CBN will likely not approve the full request. If CBN approves $3 million, the bank thereafter will pay their client and take the remaining $1 million to the black market where they can make more profit from dollar arbitrage. 

At this time, the black market otherwise known as the parallel market was booming and striving hard. Many banks made fortunes from this dollar arbitrage. 

In 1999, when Nigeria returned to democracy, the Olusegun Obasanjo regime met naira to dollar exchange at N22 but by the time he left in 2007, you will need N125 to buy $1. The fall of naira has since then continued till date. 

At the close of the market on Friday 30th of September 2022, $1 was sold for N432 at the Importers and Exporters Window (I&E) while $1 was sold for N737 on the black market. 

It would be recalled that the present administration met dollar to naira exchange at the rate of N197 to $1. 

Investors King had earlier reported that naira has lost more than 100% of its value since the beginning of this administration. Little wonder it was ranked 11th worst performing currency in the world and 3rd worst performing currency in Africa. 

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Naira

Naira Trades at N737/$ on Black Market Amid Scarcity, Campaign Activities

The Nigerian Naira depreciated to N737 against the United States Dollar at the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, on Thursday following the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) decision to lift the ban on campaign activity.

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira depreciated to N737 against the United States Dollar at the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, on Thursday following the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) decision to lift the ban on campaign activity.

Checks by Investors King showed that persistent dollar demand by politicians amid scarcity are two main factors impacting the exchange rate on the black market.

The President, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, disclosed that elections, loss of confidence, and the force of demand and supply are what is driving the market at the moment. 

“It is a market where demand and supply determine the price. Do not forget that election years are associated with foreign exchange volatility”, he noted. 

A parallel market operator our correspondent spoke to in Abuja on Thursday evening quoted Naira at N737 to a dollar. This was different from what was quoted in the morning. The dollar was sold for N735 in the morning of the same day. 

Abba Muhammed said he would buy dollars at the rate of N733 and sell at N737. It could be recalled that the dollar was sold at N728 on Wednesday. 

Investors King understands that dollar was traded at N707 to a dollar at the beginning of September. This represents a difference of N30 (4.2 percent). 

On the other hand, the dollar to naira exchange was significantly stable at the Importer and Exporter (I&E) Window at N430 to one dollar. 

It is widely believed that political activities leading to the next year’s elections will further decrease the value of the naira against the dollar. Analysts opined that politicians will scramble to stack dollars ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The electoral commission has fixed the 26th of February and 11th of March for the 2023 general elections. 

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s forex reserves barely stood above $39 billion on Thursday which was a drop of about

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Pound

Why Pounds Sterling Plunged to a 37-Year Low

Global economic uncertainty amid the decision to cut tax by over 50% despite the rising inflation rate has plunged the Pounds Sterling to a 37-year low against the United States Dollar on Monday.

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Global economic uncertainty amid the decision to cut tax by over 50% despite the rising inflation rate has plunged the Pounds Sterling to a 37-year low against the United States Dollar on Monday.

On Friday, the new U.K. Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng announced the biggest tax cuts in 50 years and on Monday said he will keep cutting taxes to put money in the pocket of the people, support businesses and grow the economy, Investors King understands.

This, he planned to achieve by reducing government revenue via tax and simultaneously increase the money circulation despite the country’s 9.9% inflation rate in August.

He argued that increased growth would eventually compensate for the drop in revenue in the long term. He further stated that the almost £45 billion expected to be cut off from the nation’s tax revenue through 2027 under his policy would “turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth”.

“We need a new approach for a new era, focused on growth,” he stated.

Global currency traders immediately started relinquishing their holdings of the Pounds Sterling for the United States Dollar and other currencies to avoid impending doom expected to hit the British Pound in the days ahead.

It is impossible to grow the economy as predicted by Kwarteng when prices of crude oil and other commodities remained high due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Also, with the United States Dollar trading at 1.1031 to the Pounds Sterling after plunging to 1.03325 on Monday, the cost of importing goods from the United States and buying goods quoted in U.S. Dollars will impact whatever money the Chancellor plans to put in the pocket of British people.

Similarly, exports from the United Kingdom would be cheaper for holders of foreign currencies and affect the profit of export-dependent businesses.

Basically, global investors are worried external factors would disrupt U.K policy given the current global happenings. Experts have started predicting that inflation could jump above 10.1% recorded in July, except the Bank of England called an emergency meeting ahead of the scheduled November 3 policy meeting to raise interest rates to curb jump in inflation predicted to result from Kwarteng policy.

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