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Recent releases

Annual trade deficit deteriorates further in February The annual trade balance sank further into negative territory in February, with the annual value of exports sitting lower than a year earlier for the first time since September 2013. Import values continued their upwards climb, rising by 5.1% over the year to February. The annual trade balance is expected to deteriorate further over the coming months as dairy exports continue to track downwards and import growth remains moderate. Read more

Start of study year pushes up migration Annual net migration rose to 55,121 people in February, a new peak. The importance of student arrivals to this increase cannot be understated — with arrivals from India surging. Although we expect net migration flows to level off in the coming months, inflows will remain highly elevated relative to historic averages over the coming years. Read more

Commentary

Consumers smiling all the way to the pumps Consumer confidence levels have improved over the early stages of 2015, according to data released this week in the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index. Our calculations show that, in seasonally adjusted terms, the index climbed 2.1% from its December 2014 quarter level. This lift in consumer confidence in the March quarter had been expected. Not only have lower petrol prices boosted households’ discretionary budgets, but rising asset prices and lower mortgage rates have also buoyed sentiment.
Outsourced? About a month or so ago I was sent an article about the changing nature of ‘outsourcing’. This got me thinking, how are advances in technology resulting in different types of outsourcing and what could this potentially mean for New Zealand SMEs? Read more.

February 2015 monthly As risks to the world economy loom overhead this month, governments have been battling to maintain stability in their respective economies. Greece and the Eurozone have renegotiated Greece’s bailout plan, extending out deadlines for debt repayments even further. Officials are also looking to shore up economic growth in China, as the nation looks unlikely to meet its 7.5% growth target for the 2014 year. Meanwhile the outlook for New Zealand remains strong, with GDP growth expected to run at 3.0%pa over the 2015 year. Read more.

Latest Forecasts

Trying to keep the run rate up

Last year began with an opening partnership of accelerating rebuilding work in Canterbury and high dairy prices that looked to be sending the New Zealand economy’s growth towards a McCullum-esque rate of 4.5%pa. Twelve months down the track, the dairy sector has been caught out by increased milk supply from Europe, forcing the rest of the economy to take a more cautious approach instead of trying to smash everything out of the park. GDP growth was 2.6% in the year to September 2014, and is now set to peak at 3.2%pa within the next year.