INDEPENDENT NEWS

Stats NZ says GDP data closely guarded secret until release

Published: Tue 18 Sep 2018 03:27 PM
Stats NZ says GDP data closely guarded secret until release day
By Rebecca Howard
Sept. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Government Statistician Liz MacPherson came out swinging at the suggestion that anyone - even the Prime Minister - is given a sneak preview into data such as quarterly gross domestic product reports.
"There are 'absolutely not' any hints to anyone, including the Prime Minister, before the release of economic growth figures from Stats NZ," she said. "Stats NZ has strict embargo rules about tier-one statistics such as gross domestic product. These figures are market sensitive and are never given to anyone in advance of the release day."
There is a short formal briefing for relevant government ministers in the hour before the release time of 10.45am on the day, but that is under strict embargo lock-up conditions, MacPherson said.
"Even then ministers are not allowed to communicate the information to anyone else before 10.45am." The same is true for other so-called tier-one data including the balance of payments and international investment position, consumers price index, and labour market statistics.
Earlier the kiwi dollar gained after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mistakenly said she was "pretty pleased" with gross domestic product growth having received a "hint" ahead of Thursday's official release of the second-quarter economic data.
Her comments were then downplayed by her chief press secretary who said she was referring to the government's June year financial statements and had "made a mistake."
The data, due Thursday, is under particular scrutiny after the central bank last month kept the official cash rate at 1.75 percent and pushed out the timing of the first rate hike citing weak growth as a concern. Governor Adrian Orr reiterated that “the direction of our next OCR move could be up or down.”
Economists expect the data to show GDP expanded 0.8 percent from the first quarter and 2.5 percent from a year ago, according to a Bloomberg poll of 16. The central bank is tipping growth of 0.5 percent.
The kiwi has since dipped to 65.61 US cents versus 65.84 cents after Ardern's comments. However, it is largely weighed after the Office of the US Trade Representative released a list of approximately US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to additional tariffs. The additional tariffs will be effective starting Sept. 24 and initially will be set at 10 percent. They will rise to 25 percent from Jan. 1.
"The real damage is being done by the tariffs," in particular the step up to 25 percent, said Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB Bank. Investors are now waiting to see how China responds, he said.
(BusinessDesk)
ends
BusinessDesk
Independent, Trustworthy New Zealand Business News
The Wellington-based BusinessDesk team provides a daily news feed for a serious business audience.
Contact BusinessDesk
Email:

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

New GST rules to level playing field
By: New Zealand Government
PM’s Business Advisory Council membership announced
By: New Zealand Government
Report shows New Zealand air quality is good
By: Statistics New Zealand
Govt backtracks on climate action, grants drill extension
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Recommendations for screen sector workplace relations
By: Film Industry Working Group
DOC closing tracks to protect kauri
By: New Zealand Government
Govt raises GST threshold for online shopping
By: BusinessDesk
Foreign Website Gst Confirmation Welcomed
By: Retail NZ
Trade Me supports government’s move to collect GST
By: Trade Me Limited
GST changes will help many consumers
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
Small firms say dealing with Govt ‘a nightmare’
By: New Zealand National Party
Minister welcomes major ‘air’ report
By: New Zealand Government
NZ heading for gas supply gap - OMV
By: BusinessDesk
Focus on 'low-hanging fruit' for emissions reduction
By: BusinessDesk
EPA grants OMV marine discharge application
By: Environmental Protection Authority
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media