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.

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.

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.

Too many houses are mouldy, damp, and cold

Housing remains a hot issue across New Zealand. But there’s not as much focus on the quality of the housing we endlessly debate. In part, this lack of focus is because we haven’t had great insights to work with – and what gets measured gets managed. But Infometrics analysis of Census 2018 data shows some disturbing results, with a concerning number of mouldy, damp or cold houses.

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.