The shape of exports and how they shape us

What we export as a nation shapes us considerably. It influences the skills we develop, how the countryside looks, and how other countries view us. Our exports also shape our regions, with a typical Waikato scenery of rolling dairy country, Marlborough’s endless rows of grapes, and the Bay of Plenty with its tangled kiwifruit vines. We should then be very aware of what produce comes from each part of the country, as it not only shapes the local economy it shapes the entire landscape.

More inflation to come?

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.

Economic forecasting’s spectacular failure around COVID-19

This time last year, the government closed the borders and then sent New Zealand into a lockdown that saw life virtually come to a halt. Amid this disruption, economists rapidly slashed their forecasts for GDP and employment. But economic activity has bounced back from lockdown largely unscathed, and the unemployment rate has only lifted from 4.2% to 4.9%. Why did forecasters get it so wrong?

No quick fix for housing crisis, no matter the announcement

The recent government’s announcement on housing has introduced substantial changes into an area of the economy where issues are readily identified, but solutions are less obvious, and notoriously hard to implement. With both supply and demand-side changes now underway, concerns have emerged over just what impact the policies together will have, and if they will fix the housing market.