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Chart of the month
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Chart of the month

Wellington Fuel Station - August 2023

Global diesel prices have surged significantly over the last few months. Driven largely by supply constraints, our Chart of the Month shows how this surge has led to a significant import cost premium over petrol. Elevated diesel prices will have ripple effects throughout both the global and local economies, and risk inflation remaining higher for longer. Read

Electric glass kettle with water

Drinking water quality remains a critical metric from which we can measure wellbeing in New Zealand. Access to safe drinking water is taken as given across almost all of New Zealand – for good reason. But as our Chart of the Month shows, although drinking water across most of New Zealand meets required standards, a lack of funding and measurement against some standards increases drinking water risks more than most would expect. Read

Dairy cow at a farm

Fonterra recently announced a sharp cut to its forecast dairy payout, at the same time as dairy farmers face high costs. Our chart of the month highlights that the dairy payout is forecast to fall beneath operating expenses for the average farm, and also takes a broader view highlighting the volatility of the dairy payout and how we are evolving past peak cow. Read

Petrol station

The full fuel excise duty returned on 1 July 2023, which provisionally added 28.5c/L to the domestic price of regular petrol. However, the price of regular petrol was still 53c/L lower than this time last year, as the substantial decline in fuel prices since July 2022 means prices are sharply down even though the fuel tax is no longer discounted. Read

Wairarapa_Balloon Festival

Over the past six years Masterton’s wellbeing has improved its relative position in six out of nine wellbeing domains. In our chart of the month, we showcase the district’s movement up the wellbeing rankings using the Infometrics regional wellbeing framework available in the newly refreshed Regional Economic Profile. Read

Sheep in Auckland 2022

Recently released data from Stats NZ shows that the number of sheep per person in New Zealand had declined to below five in 2022, the lowest since the 1800s. However, the analysis was more sheepish about providing the ratio trend over time. Read

Man holding a smartphone near the window

High inflation, rising interest rates, and more limited sales across the economy have bolstered expectations for a recession, particularly with the Reserve Bank charting a course directly toward this destination. A recession will affect, and already has affected, various parts of the economy in diff... Read

Refuelling car

In March 2022, the government implemented a reduction in the tax it charges on fuel, discounting the fuel excise duty (FED) by $0.25/L. This “temporary” measure has been repeatedly extended over the last year and is currently set to finish at the end of June 2023. With an election in October 2023, and our outlook for fuel suggesting that prices will remain elevated over the next five years, we find it unlikely that the reduction will simply end mid-year. Read


Throughout 2021 and most of 2022, New Zealand experienced a net brain drain as migrant departures returned to normal but migrant arrivals were slower to recover. However, recent migration estimates show a rapid turnaround in net migration, with strong migrant inflows flipping the brain drain to a brain gain. Over the year to November 2022, 5,700 more people are estimated to have arrived in New Zealand than left. Read


New Zealand’s dog population has been increasing strongly in recent years, with a 3.1%pa lift in 2021 and a further 2.4%pa lift in 2022 – growth results that far outstrip the 0.4% and 0.2%pa human population growth rates. As a result, the number of dogs in New Zealand, on a population-adjusted basis, has risen to its highest since 2013. This growth has seen an increase of nearly 70,000 dogs. Read