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Employment figures are important in every country. In New Zealand, they have an even greater impact, as they are published only once per quarter. Here are all the details and 5 scenarios for the reaction of NZD/USD.

Published on Wednesday at 22:45 GMT.

Indicator Background

Q4 2010 didn’t look too good in New Zealand, The unemployment rate reportedly rose to 6.8%, and the more important figure of employment change unexpectedly dropped by 0.5%, when expectations were for a rise.

Q1 2011 was already much better. Despite the devastating earthquake in Christchurch (the second one), New Zealand’s economy stood very firm on its feet. A jump of 1.4% was reported in employment change, and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6%. Also the figures for Q4 were revised to the upside, with a smaller loss of jobs and a lower unemployment rate. These good results were also reflected in GDP figures.

Various indicators released in Q2 2011 have shown that the economy is marching forward, mostly enjoying the strong demand for New Zealand’s agricultural products. So, expectations are for another improvement, although a moderate one.

The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 6.5%, and the employment change indicator will likely rise by 0.1%. While the situation is good, the big rise reported in Q1 might turn into some kind of correction now.

We will focus on the employment change figure. This is a more volatile number and has a stronger impact. In addition, the past shows us that these numbers are highly correlated. In other countries such as the US, these figures can offset each other and be quite confusing. On a quarterly basis, like in New Zealand, this is very rate.

Sentiment and levels

The kiwi is still one of the best performing currencies in recent months, and rightfully so. But, the recent days have changed the picture: there are fears of a global slowdown, if not another recession. This weighs on all “risk” currencies, including the kiwi. So, the picture is quite balanced now.

Technical levels, form top to bottom: 0.8850, 0.88, 0.8675, 0.8620, 0.8580, 0.8505, 0.8410, 0.8380, 0.83 and 0.8240.

5 Scenarios

  1. Within expectations: +0.1% to +0.3%: In this case, NZD/USD will shake, but will likely remain in range.
  2. Above expectations: +0.4% to +0.9% A strong rise in jobs will boost the kiwi, and can send it above one resistance level.
  3. Well above expectations: +1% or more: Another quarter with significant job gains is likely to send the pair above two resistance levels. Fresh all time highs cannot be ruled out.
  4. Below expectations: -0.4% to 0%: A correction after the big gains will weaken NZD/USD, which can lose one support level, though not for long.
  5. Well below expectations: -0.4%: A significant correction will add New Zealand to the list of countries which are suffering. The kiwi is likely to drop, with a second support level at risk.
For more about NZD/USD, see the New Zealand dollar forecast.