The Panama Canal: mosquitoes, a soft voice and a big stick

A sense of intrigue prompted David Kennedy to visit Panama City – an oasis of wealth and success in Central America.  He was vaguely aware of its economic and historic importance: it is a metropolis of futuristic skyscrapers, an airline hub, a tax haven, a financial hub, a nexus of global trade, and a United States outpost of sorts.  He knew that all these attributes related, in one way or another, to the Panama Canal.

The Wider Economic Benefits of Greater Connectivity

The Oresund bridge between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden, a truly transformational (€4 billion) transport project that led to economic benefits much greater than would be estimated using standard cost-benefit analysis.
Although something on that scale is unlikely in New Zealand, it does raise the question of whether investing in large transport infrastructure projects could deliver benefits additional to those estimated using the NZ Transport Agency’s Economic Evaluation Manual.

The migration levels we should be targeting

Infometrics estimates that over the coming decade, net migration of between 10,500 and 16,600pa appears to be appropriate to maintaining New Zealand’s population growth relative to world growth. However, with net migration currently sitting at 72,300pa, a gradual approach to pulling back the numbers means that it could be seven years or longer before net migration sits within this range.

New Zealand research on the effects of migration

There has been a significant body of research over the last decade into the effects of immigration on various aspects of the New Zealand economy, much of it done by Motu, as well as the Reserve Bank, Treasury, or in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Some of the key findings from this research include the following.

A quick note on seasonally adjusted car sales

Infometrics uses seasonally adjusted data to gauge month-to-month trends in car registrations. The purpose of doing so is to track whether there are any changes in momentum in car sales growth. It also helps us to look through the seasonal patterns that normally drive sales up or down in any given month. Examples of a regular seasonal pattern include strong growth in new car sales due to rental car purchases in October and November, or the lift in sales around the time of Fieldays in June. This article provides explains how we might use seasonally adjusted data and how we calculate it.