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Consumer spending will grow at a historically average rate during 2016. However, averages can be misleading, with the composition of spending changing significantly over the year ahead. Low dairy prices, rising unemployment, and weak wage growth are expected to see consumers tighten their belts during 2016 – with individual consumers unwilling to spend in the face of job insecurity and limited income growth. Read

Although we had been forecasting an easing in fuel costs during the second half of 2014 and into 2015, the magnitude of the decline has taken us, and other analysts, by surprise.  Oil costs are important for both business activity and households, and this article will discuss why oil prices have fallen, and what we expect to occur going forward. Read

The last 15 years have seen an unprecedented decline in the cost of plant and machinery equipment relative to the price of other goods and services in the economy.  What does this decline mean?  Is it sustainable?  And what are the reasons why this trend may start to reverse? Read

New Zealand households owe a lot of money, but they also own a lot in terms of assets.  In this article we briefly outline why debt has increased, and why we believe households will still be willing and able to borrow over the next few years. Read

ICT is an increasingly important element of the New Zealand economy.  In this article, we outline some of the ways that ICT can influence the broad economy, and what these influences may mean for New Zealand going forward. Read

The New Zealand labour market has been changing, with the type of work available in 2014 very different to the types of jobs and tasks workers would have performed in 1993.  In this article we outline some of the changes that have occurred on an industry basis and hazard a guess as to why. Read

Net migration has climbed sharply over the past year, leading to growing comparisons to the 2002-2004 period.  In this article we discuss the ways the current lift in net migration is similar to the previous migration boom, how it is different, and why these differences matter. Read

A series of droughts, the mining boom, and the high Australian dollar had made it seem like Australia and New Zealand were no longer competing in agricultural export markets.  However, with the mining boom falling flat and the Aussie dollar falling, the potential for increasing competition for the Chinese market is on the cards.  So how does Australian agriculture look, and how far will they go in undermining New Zealand’s return from trading with China? Read

Aging New Zealand

The tidal wave of retirees is upon us.  The proportion of the workforce in the 45-64 age bracket is as large as it is going to get, while the fraction of the population that has reached retirement age is expected to double in just over a decade.  In this article we outline some of the likely effects of this change. Read

There is a lot of talk about the currentshape of economic activity in New Zealand being "unsustainable" or"imbalanced".  In order to help think about these issues, this article will runthrough expenditure shares of GDP in New Zealand and how to interpret whatthese shares are telling us. Read