The Takeaway: NZD Average Hourly Earnings (Dec Quarter) > +0.5% versus +0.4% expected, from +1.4% > Average Annual Rates Grew +1.8% > NZDUSD Neutral
Labor Cost Index (LCI) salary and wage rates, including overtime, increased +1.8% in the year to the December 2012 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This includes a +0.5% rise in the December 2012 quarter. Salary and ordinary time wage rates increased in the private sector +1.9%, while the public sector salary and ordinary time wage rates rose +1.5%. The mean increase for all surveyed wage rates that rose in the December quarter was +3.0%, compared to +3.1% in the September quarter.
The Quarterly Employment Survey also showed that demand for labor and paid hours rose. The number of filled jobs increased +0.4% from the previous quarter. Full-time jobs rose by +0.7%, while part-time jobs fell 0.6%. The overall result of these movements was a +0.4% rise in full-time equivalent jobs.
NZDUSD 1-Minute Chart: February 4, 2013
Chart from FXCM Trading Station, created by Courtney Edwards
The NZDUSD remained steady at the improved average hourly earnings in New Zealand. The pair opened at 0.8440 this morning, and was at 0.8430 at the time of the release.
--- Written by Courtney Edwards, DailyFX Research