Reserve Bank independence a distraction from housing’s real issues

The Reserve Bank’s independence is an important feature of New Zealand’s economic framework. The government has some scope to include housing in the Bank’s policy objectives, and it must also ensure that the Bank takes an appropriately broad view of the economic effects of its policy decisions. But housing’s underlying problems will only be solved by more fundamental reforms of our tax system and settings around the supply of land.

Wide regional variations in residential building

Residential construction activity has held up much better than expected since the economy went into lockdown in late March. Some areas have seen a strong burst of activity, but others have seen a softening in anticipated building levels. This article explores some of the emerging regional trends in consent numbers, with detailed regional forecasts of activity available as part of our Regional Construction Outlook.

Media Release: Strong rebound for regional economic activity, but path ahead remains uncertain

New Zealand’s economy rebounded strongly in the September quarter, with regional economies showing renewed strength as they get back on their feet. The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor points to a surge in activity as the economy’s resilience saw businesses and consumers swing back into action after a substantial hit in the June quarter.

Chart of the month: summer’s big hole in tourism revenue

Since the borders were closed in March, we have consistently argued that an increase in spending by New Zealanders on domestic holidays could never make up for the loss in revenue from foreign visitors. Data for 2019 shows that international tourism was worth $16.0b to the New Zealand economy, while Kiwis spent $6.2b on overseas holidays.

Media Release: Double-dip recession next year, but housing rolls on

Despite rebounding well from the initial lockdown and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, the New Zealand economy remains vulnerable, according to the latest projections from Infometrics. The company is forecasting a double-dip recession to hit during 2021, as delayed job losses punch a hole in consumer spending and drag economic activity lower.

Industry concentrations, and the fall of Think Big?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major ramifications for the New Zealand economy and put a spotlight on the structure of local economies. One of the key determinants of how regional economies are performing is how much of a focus they have on either of the tourism or primary sectors. But a bigger issue looms for some areas, with some key industrial players rapidly reassessing their future, which could remove a substantial chunk of activity from some local economies.