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Recent releases

March house sales steam ahead Seasonally adjusted house sales rose 2.2% in March to sit at their second strongest month since July 2007. Surging house sales in Auckland, in addition to broad-based sales growth across other regions, has maintained the upwards trend in national house sales. Nevertheless, house sales did not pick up as rapidly as we had anticipated for the quarter, as the slowdown in Canterbury sales was more swift than expected. Read more

Rent pressures emerging in Auckland Nationwide rental inflation edged up to a ten-month high of 4.3% in the March quarter. Overall rental inflation remains relatively modest, although the last few months have been notable for a widening in the gap between the rate of rental growth in Auckland and the rest of the country. Read more

Commentary

Worrywarts This week, forward auction dairy prices fell to a five-month low on the GlobalDairyTrade index, businesses surveyed by the NZIER’s QSBO indicated that their investment intentions are on the rise, but were feeling the pinch of a tightening labour market, and the Reserve Bank reiterated its concerns about the housing market imbalances.
Dispelling myths about air freight exports This article examines which goods contribute the most to air freight exports and what the outlook is for the availability of air freight capacity over the next couple of years. Air freight is an important part of New Zealand exporters’ logistical infrastructure. Although only 0.3% of New Zealand’s exports by weight were freighted by air in 2014, these exports were typically more expensive items and, in value terms, accounted for 13% of the total value of New Zealand’s exports. Read more.

Handbrake released for regional tourism operators The handbrake has been lifted for tourism operators in regional New Zealand, after years of underperformance following the Global Financial Crisis.  Data from Statistics New Zealand shows that guest nights in2014 grew in 48 of New Zealand’s 66 territorial authorities (excluding Chatham Islands), adding to evidence from Infometrics’ regional GDP database that 50 territorial authorities had positive growth in tourism GDP over the March 2014 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.