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North Island supermarket chiller - June 2023

High inflation in recent years has prompted much discussion about how households are adjusting their spending to cope. Although wages have been increasing too, meaning that households can also afford more, we haven’t had a clear idea of the changing preferences and priorities that dictate what households are spending more or less on. Read

We economists can be a tactless bunch. Last week’s announcement that the economy had contracted for the fourth time in five quarters was greeted with comments about how the recession was necessary, and that the extent of the contraction only highlighted to serve how overheated... Read

Black Friday has quickly morphed in recent years from just another incursion of American culture to one of the biggest retail events of the year, even surpassing the Boxing Day sales. Although the sales by New Zealand retailers mostly seem to lack the fabled offers that almost cause stampedes in US malls, they still offer an opportunity for organised and savvy shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done for less. Read

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Spending activity continues to be in focus, with Black Friday sales and the looming Christmas shopping season providing some insight into household budgets. Read

The announcement in late May 2023 by the Reserve Bank of one final 25 basis point hike to the official cash rate (OCR) signalled that it felt it has done enough to cool demand and bring inflation pressures under control. Indeed, the Bank forecasts inflation to moderate to below 5%pa by the end of 20... Read


In 2016, Parliament gave local councils the ability to set local policies to allow for Easter trading if a shop chose to. Although two-thirds of all councils now have Easter trading policies in place, most of the spending, and people, in New Zealand remain under restricted trading options. In short, shop trading hours are a patchwork tapestry of non-sensical rules. It’s time to reconsider our entire shop hours trading regime and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and households. Read

It’s still early days, but it seems the Trans-Tasman bubble hasn’t been the silver bullet that many in the tourism sector had been hoping for. In the four weeks to 30 May, the number of arrivals to New Zealand on foreign passports was just 16% of 2019 levels for the same period. With virtually no arrivals from anywhere except Australia and the Cook Islands at the moment, these figures suggest that visitor arrivals from Australia are running at about 40-50% of their pre-COVID levels. Read

The night-time economy is generally defined as businesses that do the majority of their trading between 6pm and 6am. In 2019, Infometrics estimates that New Zealand’s core night-time economy was worth almost $10b in economic activity and supported over 180,000 jobs (7% of total employment). Read

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing economic chaos both internationally and in New Zealand. A recession is now inevitable, and the economic ramifications of the pandemic and response will substantially change people’s livelihoods. However, New Zealand is resilient and stands ready to weather this pandemic, and there are actions that can be taken to reduce the severity of the economic blow. Read

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor highlights that almost all regional economies continue to grow, driven by population growth and sustained consumer confidence. However, concerns are growing about future growth, with a long, slow, slowdown expected over the next few years. Read

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