An Economic Prosperity Index (EPI) is an increasingly common tool for assessing regional living standards and is a complementary indicator to GDP growth. This article provides a case study for South Wairarapa, measuring prosperity in its three main towns: Greytown, Martinborough and Featherston. The analysis reveals some challenges that policymakers will need to face, including low skill levels in Featherston and the ageing population in Greytown.
Commercial property is often thought of as a hybrid asset, with total returns generated from its bond-like income earning ability combined with the scope for equity-like capital gains. In Wellington’s case, the earthquake-driven shortage of buildings (particularly offices) is likely to be good for both parts of the returns equation. Income, however, could be the real star.
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.
After a few tough years, the prospects for New Zealand’s primary sector are currently looking pretty good. There is a lot of commentary going around about the potential $6 trifecta for dairy, beef and lamb prices, while kiwifruit growers and wine producers are also looking forward to continued buoyant returns. One part of the primary sector, however, that doesn’t perhaps get the coverage that it warrants is arable.
Although the Crusaders are leaving everybody in their wake in Super Rugby, unfortunately the Canterbury economy isn’t matching those standards. Our provisional estimate is that the region’s GDP growth rate in the year to March 2017 was 0.9%, the lowest figure for five years. In fact, Canterbury is now at the bottom of the GDP growth league for all regions across New Zealand – lagging behind next-lowest Southland (1.0%) and table-topping Tasman (4.1%).