Trump’s tariffs threaten to start a trade war

Last month, US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, alongside tariffs on over US$34b of Chinese imports. Taking into account tariffs imposed earlier this year, about US$90b of Chinese imports to the US are now covered, with threats that all US$505b of Chinese imports could yet be hit.

Rising fuel prices threaten to squeeze economic growth

Motorists have been incensed this week, with the price of 91 octane petrol heading over $2.30/l in some parts of the country. Increased fuel prices aren’t yet at the highest (real) levels we’ve ever seen – but they’re close. Based on the unrest in the Middle East, fuel prices might remain elevated for some time. This will hurt more than just the classic Sunday drive, with airfares, freight costs, and eventually goods prices also needing to increase to cover higher fuel bills.

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.

Most people coming from Australia… are Kiwi

A wee while back, Winston Peters complained that arrival data used by Herald reporters mistook arrivals from Australia as Australians (spoiler – it didn’t).  But he did raise an interesting question: who does come over from Australia when they move here long-term? Turns out, almost two thirds of people moving from Australia to New Zealand are in fact Kiwis. 

Smaller regions are reaping benefits of international education

For the first time, the value of international education has been measured in eight regions around New Zealand in a series of reports authored by Infometrics Chief Economist Adolf Stroombergen and the National Research Bureau (NRB) for Education New Zealand. Hilary Parker examines the regional impact of international education on two New Zealand areas.

A day in the life of an economist – David Kennedy

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Paralympics were a success for New Zealand, with a record number of medals being won by our talented athletes.  At Infometrics, Brazil is always in the back of our minds, as one of our economists, David Kennedy, works remotely from a city called Belo Horizonte.  We took the chance to chat with David as part of our regular feature “A day in the life of an Economist” to learn his take on the Brazilian economy and what he enjoys about living in Brazil and its rich culture.

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.