How fast is NZ growing?

Last updated 08:00 19/06/2014

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What you need to know on Thursday morning, June 19.

- NZX50 down 8.88 points (0.17 per cent) to 5184.62
- NZ dollar at US87.05 cents, A92.92c, 88.83yen, 51.31p, €63.98c
- Brent crude oil at US$114.25 a barrel (up US80c)
- Spot gold at US$1272.70 an ounce

What's on today

- Statistics New Zealand's gross domestic product data will show how quickly New Zealand's economy grew in the March quarter. The Reserve Bank is forecasting the economy to have grown by 1.1 per cent during the first three months of the year, after a 0.9 per cent increase in the December quarter.

Stocks to watch

-Power companies: Shares in electricity generators such as Contact Energy and recently listed former state-owned enterprises Genesis Energy, Meridian and Mighty River Power could get a boost from Labour's poor polling, which reduces the risk of its NZ Power single-buyer policy being introduced. Meanwhile, new figures show nearly 400,000 households switched power company in 2013, up 11 per cent from 2012.

Top international news

- The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest rates increases starting next year, but suggested rates in the long-run would be lower than it had indicated previously.

After a two-day policy meeting, the central bank slashed its forecast for US economic growth to a range of between 2.1 per cent and 2.3 per cent from an earlier forecast of about 2.9 per cent, but expressed confidence the recovery was largely on track.

"Economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will continue to improve gradually," the Fed said in a statement.

Something else for your morning

- Waiting on the phone to get hold of an actual human at a company or government department is frustrating, but banks seem to be doing fairly well at getting wait times down for customers. An unofficial Fairfax survey found waiting times vary from one minute to nine minutes, well shy of the 55 minute waits Contact Energy customers say they have been subjected to recently.

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