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.
We have revised up our car sales forecasts considerably over the five-year forecast period when compared to our February outlook. A big part of this long-term lift is a change in our forecasts for net migration. But there are also factors, such as high ownership rates and an improving economy, which are also going to push up demand for vehicles throughout our five-year forecast period.
Commercial property in Dunedin tends to slip under the radar a little, with few buildings being of sufficiently high value to get the big institutional investors interested. However, given a solid local economy and the long-term impetus that will be provided by the hospital redevelopment, the future investment returns on offer from Dunedin property could be quite attractive.
Plummeting house sales prompted the Real Estate Institute to call on the Reserve Bank to review its loan-to-value ratio limits. But the effect of LVRs is only part of the picture. Floating mortgage interest rates have ticked up over the past year. And, after being downgraded by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for their high exposure to property markets, it appears that Australian-based banks are being more selective in their lending. With the target of financial stability, the Bank appears to be nowhere near the removal of LVRs.
Political parties are promising a lot more new homes over the next few years as part of their election campaigns. But are their targets achievable? We take a look at each of the major parties’ promises and see how they stack up against our projections.
This election, we’ve brought back the Infometrics Misery Index, which looks at the state of the economy compared to previous New Zealand governments, to provide a sense test of how the electorate might be feeling in the lead-up to September 23.
New research released this month by Infometrics suggests that we might currently be underestimating net migration by between 4,000 and 8,000 people per year. These figures imply that net migration could be closer to 80,000pa than the latest official measure of 72,300.
Auckland Council’s estimate that only 6,260 new dwelling units were completed during 2016 earlier this week came as shock given previous indications of the amount of residential building activity taking place in the city. Consent numbers for Auckland in the last calendar year totalled 10,026, while Statistics NZ published figures earlier in July estimating that 7,872 dwellings were completed in the city during 2016.
It is Got a Trade Week, where a wide range of training and career opportunities in the trades and services industries are highlighted. But why focus on raising awareness of the trades and services industries? Simply put, they are industries that we can’t afford to ignore. Overall, they account for 75% of all employment in New Zealand!
Brad Olsen has only just reached his 20s and he’s met Queen Elizabeth II twice! He’s our youngest economist and is already making his mark both at Infometrics and in youth politics.
We chat with Brad about what a day in the life of an economist looks like…