Browsing anonymously. Log in

Recent releases

Core card spending growth continues to strengthen The seasonally adjusted value of core electronic card spending rose 1.2% in September — the biggest monthly lift since October 2013! This lift in spending was broad-based across retail sectors, with only the value of spending on apparel falling (down 0.2% in the month). The strong growth in the value of retail spending, coupled with weak estimates for CPI inflation in the September quarter, suggests consumers are continuing to buy up a storm, despite the bleaker outlook for the economy. Read more

When will car sales peak? The pace of growth in car sales continued to taper in September, but there was still enough momentum to ensure sales volumes remained comfortably above their 2014 level. With car prices expected to begin pushing up and economic growth having moderated, we anticipate that car sales will peak over the coming months. Read more


A week of four letter words Free trade talks came to a conclusion on Monday with the Trans-Pacific Partnership becoming the largest trade and investment agreement in history. With the agreement now established, the first details of the secretive deal are now being released. While the TPP will have a big effect on New Zealand businesses in a few years’ time, the NZIER’s latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion was also released this week, giving us a steer on near-term economic conditions. Although confidence, employment, and investment intentions were weak, firms’ profitability was reported as the highest since December 2003. Read more.

Non-residential construction picking up dairy slack A massive surge in non-residential building consents in Canterbury during August pushed up the value of non-residential consents nationally to their strongest monthly level ever.  Activity in Canterbury more than tripled its level from a year earlier, with $419m of consents recorded across the region. Read more.

Drought crisis déjà vu? Over the past week, data outcomes have been relatively positive for New Zealand.  With the situation in Greece stabilising after recent elections keeping the incumbent in power, dairy prices recovering from their drastic lows, and the New Zealand dollar falling below 63c against the US dollar, external factors appear slightly more positive than they did previously.  Furthermore, net migration flows have continued to surge upwards, with the lift in arrivals on work visas and still low number of departures both acting as encouraging signs regarding the New Zealand economy.  But even so the spectre of El-Nino rearing its ugly head at a time of global uncertainty, giving those of us who remember the 2007/08 drought and recession a feeling of déjà vu. Read more.

Latest Forecasts

Overhauling the economic growth menu

The New Zealand economy has drawn praise from connoisseurs around the world over the past year, with a perfect balance of ingredients pushing GDP growth above 3%pa. Migrants have come from far and wide to sample our fare, while bubbles have continued to flow on the party circuit for construction and housing market participants. Although the regions have kept the pantries well stocked with fresh primary produce, critics claim that our dairy products will struggle to cut it against a growing supply of European milk, and so must now be priced down accordingly. Given these low dairy prices, at a time when growth in residential building consent numbers in Canterbury is being removed from the menu, economic growth is set to cool. We forecast that GDP growth will reach an eight-year high of 3.7%pa in the September quarter, but be turned down to a simmer after that.