the New Zealand Dollar hasn’t seen US 73 cents since teatime on Tuesday, though its decline against the USD has been measured and orderly. Indeed, it only had a very brief spike below 0.7250 yesterday afternoon and has otherwise spent the whole of the past 60 hours in the high 72’s. Against the British pound, the NZD has actually strengthened this week and GBP/NZD is now below 1.90 for the first time since last Friday.
In economic data, total card spending across all industries was relatively flat (up 0.1 percent) in February 2018, when adjusted for seasonal effects, Stats NZ said today. Retail card spending dipped 0.3 percent in February, after five consecutive monthly increases. February’s decline was led by a 0.5 percent fall in spending on consumables, which includes grocery and liquor retailing and the statisticians commented that, “This is the first decrease in the consumables group since May 2017 and could be the effect of people hunkering down during the two ex-tropical cyclones that hit this month.” Spending was subdued across most of the six retail industries. There was little or no change in durables (includes hardware, furniture, and appliances), hospitality (accommodation, bars, cafes, restaurants, and takeaways), apparel (clothing and footwear), and fuel.
As the North Island of New Zealand spends the weekend worrying about a potential hit from Cyclone Hola on Monday and Tuesday, the Kiwi Dollar opens in London this Friday morning in the high-USD 72’s with GBP/NZD just under 1.90.