- New Zealand Retail Sales Climb 0.2% in Q3
New Zealand retail sales climbed less than expected in the third quarter following the drop in restaurant sales.
Sales increased by 0.2 percent in the third quarter, according to the Statistics New Zealand report released on Wednesday. This was lower than the 1.8 percent recorded in the second quarter and the 0.4 percent expected by most economists surveyed.
Also, the report showed eight out of the fifteen industries surveyed reported higher retail sales in the quarter, while six posted surged in values. Meaning, industries with high volume of sales are not necessarily experiencing price pressures and vice versa.
In the food and beverage sector, comprising of cafes, restaurants, bars, takeaways, and catering services sales and value dropped in the quarter. Although, better sales were recorded in the previous quarter, however, that has been attributed to the World Masters Games and the Lions rugby tour in the second quarter. In the absence of events, sales value declined by 2.2 percent and volume of sales plunged by 3.1 percent in the third quarter.
“There were strong increases from the food and beverage services and accommodation industries in June, on the back of the World Masters Games and the Lions tour,” retail trade manager Sue Chapman said. “However, the reverse has occurred this quarter, with both of these industries falling.”
Again, while expensive food materials and rising housing costs aided consumer prices in the third quarter, the volume of sales has significantly dropped. Suggesting that rising prices and weak wage growth may be hurting consumer spending.
“Rents and construction costs in Wellington are rising faster than for the rest of the country,” said Jason Attewell, prices senior manager at Stats NZ.
Even though, the unemployment rate improved to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent recorded in the second quarter, it is yet to reflect on household earnings. Hence, the drop in consumer spending.
However, the New Zealand dollar rebounded against the US dollar on Federal Reserve’s inflation expectation and falling consumer sentiment.
Naira Continues Downward Trend on Black Market, Trades at N465/$
Naira Extends Decline on Black Market, Exchanges at N465/$
Naira extended its decline against the United States dollar on Friday as scarcity amid devaluation persists.
The local currency lost N2 against the US dollar from N463 it traded on Thursday to N465 on Friday. Its lowest in almost three years.
Similarly, the Naira depreciated by N3 against the British Pound from N562 on Thursday to exchange at N565 on Friday.
While against, the European common currency, the Nigerian Naira lost N1 from N505 it was sold on the back market on Thursday to N506 on Friday.
The local currency has been on a downward trend since the news of foreign exchange unification broke out about two weeks ago. This coupled with 5.54 percent devaluation from N360 official Naira-US Dollar exchange rate to N380, compounded Naira woes.
On the Investors and Exporters’ Forex window, the Naira appreciated by 25 kobo or 0.06 percent against the US dollar to trade at N386.50 on Friday.
Activity on the window, however, improved from $11.96 million traded on Thursday to $25.19 million Friday.
Naira Declines Against Pound, Euro After Devaluation
Naira Plunges Against Euro and Pound After CBN Adjusts Official Exchange Rate
Following the devaluation of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the local currency declined against the British Pound and the Euro single currency on the black market.
The Naira lost N4 against the British pound to trade at N562 from the N558 it traded on Wednesday.
This decline continues against European common currency as the Naira lost N1 from N504 exchanged on Wednesday to trade at N505 on Thursday.
On the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex window, the Naira lost 0.06 percent or 25 kobo against the US dollar to trade at N386.75 after plunging to as low as N390 during the trading hours.
Activity on the I&E window declined by 86.4 percent from $103.37 million traded previously to $11.96 million as traded are reportedly stay off the market.
The FMDQ Group, who manages the I&E Fx window, on Wednesday adjusted its CBN’s Naira-USD official exchange rate from N361 on Tuesday to N381 despite the central bank maintaining N360/$ on its official website. Indicating that the apex back has officially implemented the N380 but without an official announcement, likely due to backlash — especially after the CBN has repeatedly said the nations have enough reserves to support the economy and blamed speculators and hoarders for the wide exchange of the local currency.
Naira Slides to N463 Against US Dollar on Black Market
Naira Falls Against Dollar, Trades at N463 on Black Market
The Nigerian Naira declined against the United States dollar on the black market following the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adjust the nation’s official foreign exchange rate.
The local currency depreciated by N2 against the US dollar from the N461 it exchanged on Wednesday to N463 on Thursday after the news of CBN adjustment became known.
The apex bank had adjusted the official foreign exchange rate from the N360 previously used for the US dollar to N380 due to the recent changes in macro fundamentals of the nation.
This is the Naira lowest exchange rate on the black market in almost three years and highlighted the nation’s precarious position especially when the escalating inflation rate of 12.4 percent is factored in.
On Tuesday, United Capital Plc said given current economic situation that the official exchange of the Naira is expected to slide to N430 to a US dollar by the end of the year.
The pan-African investment banking and financial services group said “On the exchange rate, we believe the odds are in favour of a further naira adjustment, which may take the official rate to N410/$ to N430/$ by year-end.
“However, we believe the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to defend the value of the local unit for as long as it can.”
It went on to predict that the economy will shrink by 2.69 percent in 2020, down from the 2.3 percent growth predicted earlier in the year.
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