Economic-Q61

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Article 1
 

ANZ raises NZ first half profit by 24 per cent
ANZ has raised its New Zealand first half cash profit of $928 million by 24 per cent.
ANZ said it made a cash profit of $928 million in New Zealand in the first half to March, up 24 per cent the same half a year earlier, driven mostly by big reductions in costs.
 

The bank, New Zealand’s biggest, raised its statutory net profit by 14 per cent to $869m.
ANZ’s New Zealand chief executive, David Hisco, said the performance was as a result of the business being focused on sustainable growth, increasing productivity and delivering digital innovation for customers.
 

“All our business units performed well in this half due to our continued simplification of the business,” he said.
Net interest income increased 3 per cent compared with the March 2016 half, primarily reflecting continued lending growth, while net interest margins have contracted due to increased funding costs and demand for fixed rate home lending, Hisco said.
 

In Australia, the parent company reported a 23 per cent lift in cash profit to A$3.41 billion for the six months, which was in line with market expectations.
In New Zealand, Hisco said all the business units performed well due to continued simplification of the business.
“We’ve boosted our focus on digital innovation which has positioned us well for a period of rapid change in banking,” he said.
Hisco said ANZ was the only bank in New Zealand to offer ApplePay, which has been taken up by thousands of Kiwis, complementing its goMoney app.
 

Expenses fell by 12 per cent and the increase in other operating income reflected higher markets trading income and valuation gains on derivatives, he said.
 

Lower levels of credit losses reflected improvements in credit quality in the commercial and agri portfolios, partially offset by increased and new provisions.
 

The bank retained its number one market share in mortgages, which Hisco said had been balanced with our commitment to lending responsibly.
 

ANZ’s KiwiSaver business now has more than 725,000 investors. Funds under management grew $700m to almost $10b, making ANZ New Zealand’s biggest provider.
 

Questions
 

a Identify the market structure in which the ANZ bank operates in New Zealandand describe any two characters of this market structure. (2 marks)
b Describe any two methods by which the Commerce Commission regulates the competitive behaviour of the trading banks in New Zealand. (2 marks)
 

Article 2
 

Shop owners fuming as tobacco-related robberies increase: ‘I will kill them’
5:00 AM Wednesday May 3, 2017
 

KEY POINTS
 

• Rotorua liquor store owner says he’ll try to kill the next robber through his door
• Te Puke store operator claims some shops fuel crime by selling stolen cigarettes
• One Hawke’s Bay dairy owner estimates a robbery occurs every 2-3 days
• Police cannot say how many tobacco-related crimes are hitting retailers
Fed up shopkeepers have called for action after a relentless spate of aggravated robberies targeting cigarettes, which have become “like stocking gold”.
 

One liquor shop owner says he will try to kill the next person who tries to rob him.
Another retailer claimed unscrupulous stores were buying stolen cigarettes cheaply and on-selling them, fuelling the crimes.
Vinnie Gillgren, whoseTe Puke Four Square was robbed last year at knifepoint, said tobacco was attractive for people seeking a quick buck, and those who bought it were feeding the industry.
“What these guys are doing is taking tobacco from shops and then on-selling it, generally to unscrupulous small business owners who don’t care about where the products have come from,” Gillgren said.
“That’s what needs to be brought to attention. There needs to be more focus somehow on stopping business owners [buying from] the black market.”
On Tuesday morning, two shops in the Otago town of Palmerston and one in Palmerston North were hit. Thieves made off with more than $40,000 worth of cigarettes and cash.
The burglaries came less than a week after hundreds of shopkeepers marched in Manukau, calling for more police on the streets and a review of the law to protect them from often violent break-ins.
An attempted burglary last week on Cameron Rd Liquorland, Tauranga. The two unidentified men fled with nothing when confronted.

The Herald has found at least 128 tobacco-related hits on petrol stations, liquor stores and dairies since the beginning of last year, but there were likely to be many more as not all were reported on.
When asked under the Official Information Act (OIA) for the numbers of tobacco-related crime, police said they could not provide figures because of the way crime is recorded.
Cigarette prices have increased sharply in recent years. Tax on the products rises 10 per cent on January 1 every year in an attempt to reduce the smoking rate. The Crown received $1.7 billion in tobacco taxes last year – more than 2 per cent of all tax revenue.
A Rotorua liquor store owner, who did not want his identity or stores to be made public, was so angry he said he would try to kill the next person who steals from him.
 

“If someone comes to rob me, I will try to do anything to kill them,” the man said.
His handful of stores have been robbed of cash, cigarettes and alcohol more than a thousand times in the past 10 years, he said, ranging from overnight ram-raids to youths grabbing bottles and running.
“I don’t trust the law. Any criminal that’s caught will do it again. So I’m going to teach them on the spot,” he said.
 

The owner of a Hawke’s Bay store, who also did not want to be identified, said tobacco had become so coveted he knew it was just a matter of time before his store was robbed.
“Eventually we knew it was going to happen because the way things are going in Hawke’s Bay. Every two or three days there’s a robbery here,” the man said.
 

Crime Prevention Group founder Sunny Kaushal organised a public march of almost 700 people on Sunday to draw attention to rising crime against shopkeepers.
“This issue is so serious, and the Government has not been listening,” Kaushal said.
 

“We need action now. We need more police and we need to see the enforcement. We’re asking to review the law.”
Police crime statistics showed in the 12 months to February this year, there was a 3.9 per cent increase in theft, robbery and unlawful entry with intent or burglary.
 

Contributing to this increase were almost 10,000 extra victims of unlawful entry.
Hawke’s Bay area prevention manager inspector Andrew Sloan said there was “some anecdotal evidence” suggesting tobacco and cigarettes were being targeted.
 

“We continue to work with large and small retailers and provide advice and support to help improve security and make their premises less attractive for thieves,” Sloan said.
 

Rotorua police area prevention manager Stuart Nightingale said he could see why fighting offenders was tempting for shopkeepers, but said it was not the recommended course of action at all.
 

“I think they open themselves up to significant risk. There’s too much that can go wrong,” Nightingale said.
Nightingale said Rotorua had a team of six police focusing on volume crime, including cigarette burglaries.
New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores executive director Dave Hooker said he wasn’t aware of any organised black market operators selling tobacco to stores, but said there was a significant financial incentive due to tobacco’s normally low profit margin.
 

“It’d be a pretty lucrative opportunity for someone already selling tobacco. It could be happening.”
He said security had become an increasing worry for tobacco stockists.
“It’s been a concern, not just recently, but for a number of years, as the excise on tobacco goes up every year,” he said.
“There is a point where you say, ‘when is enough, enough?’ on the excise [tax] side of it.
“It’s becoming like stocking gold.”
NZ Herald.
 

Questions
 

Cigarette smoking has consequences that spill over from private consumption to the general public.
a Discusstwo costs in society that maybe associated with the consumption of cigarettes.
(2 marks)
 

b Using a diagram explain how the 10% tobacco tax could be used to change the level of consumption from the private level to the socially desirable level. (2 marks)

 
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Article 3
 

Man refused entry to bus, sits in front of it to stop service
3:55 PM Tuesday May 2, 2017
A man angry because he was refused entry to an Auckland bus took matters into his own hands, sitting in front of the passenger vehicle to prevent it moving.
 

The man tried to get on the bus outside the Langham Hotel on Symonds St this morning but it was already pulling away from the stop.
 

The driver then emptied all passengers from the bus and called police.
 

Police were called to Symonds St after a man who had attempted to board a bus as it pulled away from the stop had sat in front of the bus in protest after the driver refused to open the doors to let him on,” said a spokeswoman.
“He was spoken to by police and during this time the bus continued on its way.
 

“No arrests were made.”
 

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan also confirmed he was aware of the situation.
“The bus was stopped on Symonds St when a member of the public approached the front of the bus and put both hands on the bus as if to try to push it backwards.
 

“The person then sat in front of the bus for a short time before getting up when police arrived.
“The driver says he did not hear the person shout or speak.”
– NZ Herald
 

Questions

a Define public goods and discuss whether traveling on the bus can be considered as a public good in the economic sense. (2 marks)
 

b Who provides the public goods and why? (2 marks)

 


Article 4

Why does New Zealand advocate free trade?
 

Trade is critical to New Zealand’s economy
 

Trade is critical to New Zealand’s economy. We can only pay for the goods and services we import from overseas by selling exports to other countries. At the moment international trade (exports and imports) make up around 60 % of New Zealand’s total economic activity. New Zealand has an open economy that places few barriers in the way of foreign service providers or imports. But our exporters – particularly agricultural products exporters – often encounter barriers overseas, such as steep tariffs, quantitative restrictions, and anti-competitive local subsidies. Other non-tariff measures such as regulatory barriers also impact services exporters. This is why New Zealand pursues an active free trade agenda. We need to establish and maintain our exporters’ access to markets that matter so we can advance and safeguard New Zealand’s interests.
 

Free trade doesn’t just benefit our exporters. Our open economy has meant New Zealand importers and consumers now enjoy access to a much wider and cheaper range of goods and services.
Since 2000, free trade agreements have flourished worldwide. As our global competitors develop new networks of trade agreements, New Zealand needs to match their progress or risk our exporters being disadvantaged.
New Zealand’s participation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) supports our free trade policy.
 


Questions

 

a Identify the three organisations the membership which supports New Zealand’s free trade policy.
 
(1 mark)
b Evaluate how the Free Trade Agreements affect the New Zealand economy. (3 marks)
  

Article 5
 

Balance of payments major components
December, 2016 ($m)

Current Account Balance – 2,335
Goods Balance – 1,458

Goods exports 12,195
Goods imports 13,653

Services Balance 1,098
Services exports 5,438
Services imports 4,340

Primary income balance – 2,043
Primary income inflow 2,046
Primary income outflow 4,089

Secondary income balance 68
Secondary income inflow 707
Secondary income outflow 639
 

Source: Statistics New Zealand.
 

Questions
 

a List the components of the current account. (1 mark)
b Analyse the underlying reasons for the deficit in the current account balance. (3 marks)

 

Article 6
NZ dollar gains as risk indicators improve

Photo / File
 

The New Zealand dollar rose, ending a five-day decline, as traders’ risk appetite picked up even though the US Federal Reserve’s policymakers’ meeting and key US labour market data due out may yet indicate a stronger US economy.
The kiwi dollar rose to 69.18 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 68.56 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index rose to 74.99 from 74.51.
 

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, fell as low as 9.56 overnight, the lowest since early 2007, and both the kiwi and the Australian dollars rose overnight, with the Aussie briefly adding to its gains after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged this afternoon, as expected.
See live rates for the NZ-US $ below. Click for more information
 

The Fed is also expected to keep its Fed funds target at 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent, having pencilled in two rate hikes later this year. Meanwhile, US non-farm payroll employment figures on Friday are expected to show the world’s biggest economy added 210,000 jobs in April after an unexpectedly weak March.
“We’ve seen a few short-term risk-on flows,” said Mitchell McIntyre, a dealer at HiFX. “But the trend is still certainly down in terms of the kiwi. The US dollar is still trending higher and commodity prices are still looking soft.”
 

Little change is expected for dairy prices at tonight’s GlobalDairyTrade auction although McIntyre said a poor auction could weigh on the kiwi if it has drifted back under 69 US cents by then. Whole milk powder prices have surged 25 per cent since early March.
 

Meanwhile, New Zealand labour market data is due out tomorrow and is expected to show employment growth in the first quarter and a strong participation rate of above 70 per cent.
The kiwi traded at 91.66 Australian cents from 91.62 cents late yesterday and rose to 4.7672 yuan from 4.7231 yuan. The local currency rose to 77.378 yen from 76.53 yen and gained to 63.37 euro cents from 62.94 cents. It rose to 53.63 British pence from 53.10 pence.
 

New Zealand’s two-year swap rate edged up 2 basis point to 2.30 per cent, and 10-year swaps rose 2 basis points to 3.38 per cent.
 

BusinessDesk

Question

 

a Draw a graph to illustrate the appreciation of the NZ dollar against the US$
(1 mark)
 

b Evaluate the impact of the appreciation of the NZ dollar on the current account balance. (3 marks)
 

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