African Swine Fever (ASF) is now firmly entrenched in every province of China and has recently been reported in several other South East Asian countries, causing an upheaval in the world’s meat market. The Fever, a highly contagious, incurable virus that is fatal to pigs but harmless to humans, has also been detected in parts of Eastern Europe since 2014.
The latest estimated resident population data for regions and districts published by Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ) in late October threw up a few surprises, not least that Auckland’s population is a lot lower than previously estimated. Indeed, we have been overestimating population in many of our larger urban centres and underestimating it in the smaller provincial districts.
A whopping $138 billion of infrastructure spending is planned across New Zealand over the next 10 years, according to the latest Infometrics Infrastructure Pipeline Profile . Updated in early November, the Profile shows planned infrastructure spending is expected to be roughly $9b higher than our previous estimate from September 2018.
Every time we have local elections there is lots of talk about the low levels of turnout, and rightly so. In 2016, turnout was up nationally to an unimpressive 42%. The 2019 preliminary results from Local Government NZ show a drop in national turnout to 41.4%. At a slightly more detailed level, “metro” council areas followed a similar zigzag of up in 2016 and down in 2019. Interestingly “provincial” and “rural” council areas showed an inverse zigzag, with decreased turnout in 2016 and increased turnout in 2019.
New Zealand’s housing market isn’t functioning as well as it should be, with higher house prices, rising rents, falling home ownership, and a lack of housing options. But just how large is the housing shortage that we continually hear about?
The global economic slowdown will continue to be a drag on New Zealand’s economy over the next year, according to Infometrics’ latest forecasts. Escalating tariffs as a result of the trade war between the US and China have seen global growth expectations steadily downgraded. China, New Zealand’s largest export market and the major engine of the global economy over the last decade, is growing at its slowest rate in 30 years. All these factors mean that next year the world economy could record its slowest growth since 2012.
The latest Infometrics forecasts reinforce that New Zealand is expected to experience a period of softer growth over the next few years. With many businesses and boards currently reviewing their strategic plans and priorities for the coming years we thought it useful to briefly highlight some of the key current economic insights that decision makers need to be aware of.
Retirees who own their own home are generally able to live with more financial comfort than those who are renting. It’s not rocket science – if you’ve paid off your mortgage while working, then your accommodation costs in retirement are close to zero, apart from a bit of necessary spending on rates, insurance, and maintenance. Over time, renters tend to become even more disadvantaged because rents often rise faster than incomes.
With local elections in full swing, there’s a greater focus on the direction that our councils are moving towards and how much is it going to cost. Wrapped up in these discussions is the the fact that right across New Zealand we need to address our infrastructure deficit after decades of neglect. Planning to address this deficit will not be easy, or cheap, but is critical to aiding growth and fixing our housing issues.
Wellington City retains its top spot in 2018 as New Zealand’s most creative city, according to Infometrics’ Creativity Measure. Not only is Wellington City in a league of its own but it has been widening the gap with its closest rivals over the past ten years.