* Shanghai Pengxin to go unconditional on Crafar Farms by week’s end
* Mitt Romney to win the Florida Primary
* 34% chance of a Eurozone departure in 2012
* NZ Official Cash Rate to remain unchanged till September 2012
* Lianne Dalziel to run for Christchurch Mayor, as Tony Marryatt looks safe as CEO
* Labour Party to win next NZ general election
* Third Auckland kerbside waste bin expected by 2014
But more importantly 80% chance Maori confidence and supply arrangement won’t last.
As controversy rages in New Zealand over the sale of farmland to foreigners, Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin is expected to miss receiver KordaMentha’s publicly announced deadline of today to go unconditional in its offer for the Crafar farms, with just an 8% probability it will meet the deadline, this first iPredict weekly update for 2012 reports. Nevertheless, there is a 78% probability the offer will go unconditional before Saturday 4 February.
In the United States, iPredict reports a 97% probability Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney will win tomorrow’s Florida primary and a 94% probability he will be successful next week in the Nevada Caucus.
In Europe, with reports the EU is set to stumble in its latest Greek debt plan, iPredict forecasts a 34% probability at least one country will leave the Eurozone by 1 January 2013.
Back in New Zealand, there is a 43% probability Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt will depart from his job by 1 January 2013 and a 66% probability Labour MP Lianne Dalziel will announce she will stand as a candidate for the Christchurch Mayoralty at the 2013 New Zealand local body elections.
There is an 81% probability the Auckland Council will announce before 1 January 2014 that an additional recycling bin for kerbside glass collection will be provided to some or all households in the Auckland region.
New Zealand Economic Forecasts:
New Zealand growth is expected to be 0.5% for the December 2011 quarter, 0.5% for the March 2012 quarter and 0.4% for the June 2012 quarter.
Unemployment is now forecast to be 6.6% for the December 2011 quarter, 6.4% for the March 2012 quarter and 6.3% for the June 2012 quarter.
Inflation is forecast to be 1.6% for the March 2012 quarter, 1.6% for the June 2012 quarter and 2.2% for the September 2012 quarter.
The Official Cash Rate is expected to stay unchanged at 2.50% until September 2012.
The market is predicting there is a 66% probability that 91 unleaded petrol prices will remain between $2.10 and $2.18 for the week ended 24 February 2012.
There is an 85% probability the minimum wage will be increased in 2012, with a 57% probability the increase will be in the 1-25c range, and an 18% probability the increase will be in the 26-50c range.
Fonterra’s final payout for the 2011/12 financial year is predicted to be $7.16 per kilogram of milk solids before retentions. The payout in 2012/13 is expected to be $7.16, the 2013/14 payout $7.38, and the 2014/15 payout $7.38.
Current account deficit expectations are 4.8% of GDP to December 2011, and 5.0% to March 2012.
International Economic Forecasts:
As mentioned above, there is a 34% chance at least one Euro member will depart the single currency in 2012.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to reduce its cash rate from by 25 points to 4.00% at its meeting on 7 February 2012, and again by 25 points to 3.75% at its 6 March 2012 meeting.
Gold is expected to trade at $1724.60 USD per troy ounce on 1 March 2012.
There is only a 40% probability the US Senate will formally approve a resolution of ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership by July 2015.
The political leadership in major New Zealand trade and investment partners is expected to be relatively stable over the next year. Barrack Obama has a 60% probability of being re-elected US President, defeating Mitt Romney who has an 90% chance of being the Republican nominee. Romney has a 97% chance of winning the Florida Primary. In Australia, there is only a 25% probability Prime Minister Julia Gillard will step down by 1 July 2012. In France, however, there is a 79% probability Francois Hollande will win the presidential election over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
There is a 25% probability Israel will launch an airstrike against Iran in 2012 and a 21% probability North Korea will detonate an atomic device.
Science and Climate Change:
There is a 74% probability average global temperatures will be hotter in 2012 than in 2011 and a 12% probability 2012 will be the hottest year on record. There is only a 21% probability the OPERA experiment showing neutrinos exceeding light speed will be replicated in 2012. There is a 50% probability that there will be a formal announcement of the iPad 3 in March 2012
New Zealand Politics:
There is a 52% probability Labour will form a Government after the next General Election, with a 40% probability David Shearer will be Prime Minister by 1 January 2015.
Party vote forecasts are: National 42.6%, Labour 34.5%, Greens 10.2%, NZ First 5.0%, Conservative 2.7%, Act 1.7%, Maori Party 1.4%, Mana Party 1.2%, and UnitedFuture 0.6%.
The Maori Party is expected to win 3 electorate seats and the Mana Party 1 seat. UnitedFuture has a 63% probability of winning an electorate seat and Act a 50% probability. The Greens, New Zealand First and Conservative parties are not expected to win electorate seats.
Under these electorate and party vote results, the New Zealand Parliament would consist of: National 52 MPs, Labour 43 MPs, the Greens 13 MPs, New Zealand First 6 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, Act 2 MPs, UnitedFuture and Mana 1 MP each. There would be 121 MPs, requiring 61 to govern. David Shearer’s Labour Party could form a government with the support of the Greens, and New Zealand First. Alternatively, John Key’s National Party could mathematically pull together a government with the support of NZ First, and either of the Maori or Act parties.
Because of Act’s hold on an electorate and New Zealand First’s hold on 5% of the party both being uncertain, iPredict has also considered the following three scenarios: (1) Act wins no electorate seats and NZ First wins 5%; (2) Act wins an electorate seat and NZ First wins less than 5%, and (3) Act wins no electorate seats and NZ First wins less than 5%.
Only under the second scenario, where NZ First received less than 5% of the vote and Act won an electorate, would John Key’s National Party be likely to be able to remain in power.