The New Zealand dollar remains under pressure, as NZD/USD is having a dreadful week, down 2.47%. In the North American session, NZD/USD is trading at 0.5950, down 0.27%.
NZ Manufacturing PMI surprises to the upside
It has been a solid week for New Zealand data, but that hasn’t helped the New Zealand dollar, which has fallen to its lowest level since May 2020. Earlier today, New Zealand’s manufacturing PMI for August improved to 54.9, up from 53.5 in July and above the consensus of 52.5. This marked the highest level since July 2021 and manufacturing has now expanded for a fifth month running, with readings above the neutral 50.0 level. This is in contrast to global manufacturing, which has been struggling and slowed to 50.3 in August, down from 51.1 in July.
Earlier in the week, New Zealand posted a stronger-than-expected GDP report for Q2. The economy climbed 1.7%, reversing the 0.2% decline in the first quarter. The upswing in growth was driven by the government’s easing of Covid restrictions. The gain in GDP removed any fear of a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
Now that New Zealand’s economy is flexing its muscles, what does that mean for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand? The central bank was almost spot on with its GDP forecast at the August meeting, predicting a gain of 1.8%. At the meeting, the Bank projected that the cash rate would peak at 4.1% in mid-2023. The GDP release is not expected to change that stance, with the Bank likely to raise rates by 50bp in the October and November meetings, which would bring the cash rate to an even 4.0%.
With central banks raising interest rates in order to combat inflation, the World Bank has warned that the global economy may tip into a recession. The World Bank report noted that the three largest economies, the US, China and the eurozone were all slowing sharply, and even a “moderate hit to the global economy” could result in a global recession.
- NZD/USD is testing resistance at 0.6017. Next, there is resistance at 0.6085
- There is support at 0.5929 and 0.5861