As consumer spending rose, house prices also posted gains adding to the view that New Zealand could be nearing an end of its worst recession in three decades. Retail sales rose 0.4% after inflation adjustment while house prices gained 0.9%.

This news came in combination with a speech from Australian Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens in which he noted that interest rates are likely to move from "emergency" levels sometime in the near future. The hawkish speech sent the AUD to an annual high against the US dollar. By contrast the New Zealand Reserve Bank has indicated they will retain low interest rates until late 2010.

The New Zealand currency is currently trading at 0.68 to the US dollar and 0.41 to the pound.