Despite increasing storm clouds and general concern about the New Zealand economy’s prospects, Infometrics’ latest economic forecasts show GDP growth holding up well throughout the next year. The economic consultancy predicts 3.1% growth in the year to June 2020. A recent resurgence in residential building consents, particularly in Auckland, is pivotal to that outcome.
One of the true tests of a society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members, particularly the old, the young, the sick, and the disabled. There is a lot of good with New Zealand and New Zealand policy. However, on assisting those unable to provide for themselves, our provisions for people unable to work due to a health condition is an area where we are increasingly failing.
It is not uncommon to be self-employed in New Zealand, with 415,511 or 16.7% of the total workforce currently self-employed. That’s one self-employed worker for every six wage and salaried workers. New Zealand’s self-employment rate is high compared to other small advanced economies and the OECD average.
Infometrics welcomes Merzan Wadia to our team of economists. Merzan’s article “Fall, rise and decline: the story of New Zealand’s self-employment rate” appears in our March 2019 newsletter.
It’s now been three months since Statistics NZ released new migration data based on traveller outcomes rather than intentions. And all we actually know for sure is that no one has any idea what is happening to migration any more. We’d do just as well to estimate next month’s migration figure by playing darts while blindfolded.
Over the last month there have been a range of concerns raised about the diplomatic relationship between New Zealand and China, with the announcement that the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism launch event has been postponed and government decisions being critical of China setting a foundation for worry.
There is much coverage in the media of housing affordability, frequently expressed as the ratio of median house price to median income. This measure can be extremely misleading as it takes no account of the actual cost of servicing a mortgage, which is much more relevant to most buyers.
It seems that love was in the air again this year, with Cupid’s arrow aiming as much for people’s wallets as their hearts. Looking around and seeing all the hopeless romantics and their gestures of love ranging from rose bouquets to axe throwing made me question just what all the hype is about?
New Zealand’s domestic economy remains in a similar position to where it was 12 months ago: prospects of middling growth, somewhat hampered by capacity constraints and a tight labour market, and with some of the most significant potential shifts being driven by government policy and rule changes. In contrast to this largely unchanged domestic picture, many question marks have appeared during the last year over the international economic environment.
Infometrics’ new estimates of regional GDP show that Auckland was the fastest growing region in the year to March 2018, expanding by 3.9% (see Graph 1). Auckland has regularly been towards the top of the regional league table throughout the last seven years. Its growth during 2018 was underpinned by a strong services performance, with industries such as professional, scientific, and technical services, financial and insurance services, and retail trade all expanding by more than 5.0%