6. Briefly in our political economy


Here's the news in brief from New Zealand's political economy on Tuesday, including news a private member's bill to create a new debt mediation service for farmers passed its first reading, New Zealand job advertisements continued to grow strongly and Australian wage growth remained very weak. The combination doesn't bode well for falling net migration here.

Lending mediation - A New Zealand First member's bill to create a mediation system for farmers in debt trouble, the Farm Debt Mediation Bill passed its first reading yesterday and will now be referred to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. If made law, the bill would require independent debt mediation before a receivership can start.

Weak wage growth - Australian wage data showed just 2.1 percent growth in wages across the Tasman in the year to the March quarter. The data was in line with expectations according to a Bloomberg poll of 22 economists, but underscored a tepid inflationary picture, adding to the view the Reserve Bank of Australia won't be lifting rates any time soon. The New Zealand dollar strengthened against the Australian dollar as a result. A weak Australian labour market also reduces the chances of a fall in net migration in New Zealand as most economists expect New Zealanders to resume going to Australia when its labour market strengthens.

Milk spilt - A2 Milk shares shed about a fifth of their value after a trading update today disappointed investors optimistic about the milk marketing firm's outlook, dragging down production partner Synlait Milk and weighing on the broader market.

Job ads strong - MBIE reported he number of online job advertisements rose by 1.1 per cent in the month of April and 7.9 per cent over the year.

Off up North - Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced he is travelling to Japan this week to attend the eighth Japan-Pacific Leaders’ (PALM) Meeting and to undertake a number of bilateral calls. The PALM Meeting, hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Iwaki, will also be attended by Leaders from Pacific Islands Forum member countries and territories. Peters will meet with Prime Minister Abe, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Taro Kono. Peters is expected to visit China next week.