Mortgage rates could drop below 2 percent within the next year, economists say, as the world reacts to the fallout from Covid-19. The official cash rate is on hold at 0.25 percent until March but it is increasingly expected that it could fall into negative territory by April. ASB economists said they had revised their interest rate forecasts and expected home loans could soon fall below 2 percent. At the moment, banks are offering rates from 2.55 percent.
Furniture retailer Harvey Norman experienced a sales bounce in New Zealand when the country returned to alert level 1 earlier this year. In July and August, sales were 19.2 percent higher than the same time a year earlier. On Friday, the Australian-based company reported a AU$480.54 million (NZ$525.3m) profit after tax across its global network for the year ending June 30, a 19.4 per cent jump on last year. While sales in New Zealand declined during the lockdown period, they rebounded strongly when the restrictions were lifted, the company said in its annual report. Harvey Norman New Zealand sales for the year were AU$99.16m, a 28.1 per cent, or NZ$108.2m, increase on last year.
The New Zealand stock market website crashed on Monday post another cyberattack on the day trading NZX however trading was unaffected. Trading on the New Zealand stock market was disrupted on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as a result of a sustained cyberattack on NZX, a listed company responsible for operating the sharemarket. Shortly after 10am on Monday, NZX’s main website was down before being restored some time around 11am. An NZX spokesman said cyberattacks on Monday morning affected its website but trading had continued.
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