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Weekly commentary Announcements (41)Building Forecasts (1)Chart of the month (28)Client testimonials (8)Construction (188)COVID-19 (102)
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Weekly commentary


Recent news that Armstrong Downes Commercial had gone into liquidation is, unfortunately, likely to be only a harbinger of further business failures in the construction industry over the next couple of years. Armstrong Downes’ collapse follows the liquidation of a smaller firm building townhouses in Auckland, OD 2019, which blamed project delays, COVID-19, and increased costs for its insolvency. Read

Plane in Welly_2

New Zealand’s population growth in the December quarter was 0.5%pa, having slipped as low as 0.4%pa in September last year, the slowest rate of growth since about 1989. The large migration inflow of previous years has been replaced with the first net migration outflow since the aftermath of the 2011... Read

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Last month we looked at how quickly international travel will return as New Zealand’s borders reopen. Evidence from people movements between other countries suggests an eagerness to travel again, especially if there are no restrictions. For example, flight numbers between the US and Mexico are now sitting above pre-pandemic levels. Read

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New dwelling consent numbers are on the verge of topping 50,000pa for the first time on record, with the annual total just 1,101 consents shy of this milestone in December. The 24%pa growth during 2021 is phenomenal when one considers that consent numbers were already at a 46-year high of over 39,000pa heading into the year. As conditions start to become less favourable for residential construction, is this pipeline of work all its cracked up to be? Read


With Omicron set to spread across New Zealand over the coming weeks, many businesses are faced with making tough decisions about how to best protect their workforce and ongoing operations. We estimate that absenteeism could rise to 12% of the workforce, if key government forecasts bear out, which would hamper activity. Read


One of the starkest contrasts of pre- and post-pandemic life is how much less connected we are with overseas countries. International travel was obliterated almost everywhere in about a month when COVID-19 began its spread across the globe. Airline companies slashed their capacity in response, sending surplus planes to the desert where they won’t depreciate as quickly. The domestic tourism boom has helped local airline traffic to recover, although our ongoing isolation continues to negatively affect the tourism sector. Overseas evidence shows that as travel restrictions have eased, people are keen to get back out and explore, but activity has not returned to pre-pandemic levels yet. Read


The number of downbeat stories about the housing market has increased since the middle of last year. And although the market is not quite as red-hot as it was in late 2020 and early 2021, we’re not convinced that things have hit the wall yet. Read


A surge in March quarter GDP is further evidence of a resilient New Zealand economy. But with economic activity comfortably above pre-COVID levels, employment rising, and inflation also set to pop higher, it’s becoming harder to justify keeping interest rates at record lows. Read

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The summer of 2020/21 provided a boost to a number of regional economies even as traditional tourism hotspots remained hard hit by the loss of international tourism. The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor points to a faltering in the overall economic recovery, with a further divergence across New Zealand. Some parts of the country have continued to recover further but other areas show patches of softer economic activity. Read

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Headline inflation data for the March 2021 quarter showed prices rose 1.5%pa, in line with market expectations. However, the underlying trends for inflation remain difficult to judge, with temporary cost pressures likely to push inflation higher in the short term. But we remain of the view that the Reserve Bank will look through these pressures and won’t substantially change monetary settings for a while. Read