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Infometrics December newsletter
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December 2015
NEWSLETTER

Some people think the lead-up to Christmas is a time to take the foot off the pedal. But at Infometrics we’re using it as a time to kick off some exciting new developments. 

This week we have launched our new website and client focused Infometrics Portal. The new portal transforms the way we deliver economic information to our clients.

One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing you insight into critical topical issues. So in this issue our economists take a hard-hitting look at GST, the role of the Reserve Bank, and the housing market.

Before we get to the heavy hitting stuff, we look back over the past year in our light hearted Christmas Carol.

Infometrics Christmas Carol – 2015
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Every December Infometrics Director and Chief Forecaster, Gareth Kiernan, gets into the festive spirit and creates a Christmas carol inspired by key events, issues and trends that have shaped the economy over the past year. Here is the 2015 Christmas carol . . . sung to the tune of O Come All Ye Faithful.
Launch of the new Infometrics website
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The Infometrics team are excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. We pride ourselves on being innovative and making information easily accessible.  It is therefore no surprise that innovation, ease of use and accessibility are key components of our new website. The goal of our new website is to improve the user experience by making the website faster, easier to navigate and more user friendly. We want to give you an opportunity to know us better; who we are as a company and the members of our team.
New Infometrics Portal – customised for your individual needs
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At Infometrics, we pride ourselves on being innovative and making information easily accessible. Our movement to web-based regional and sector products over the past couple of years is a prime example of this. The forthcoming redevelopment of our forecasting products will further help our clients access our information through an interactive and attractive interface.
Review of GST misses the point
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Trying to plug the holes in the current goods and service tax system is likely to be an expensive failure that will have the perverse impact of encouraging a culture of tax avoidance. As I have noted previously, there is a fundamental flaw in the design of New Zealand’s GST, which the current review of cross-border transactions ignores. While the current review is aimed at plugging revenue gaps that are developing because of technology and social changes to retail patterns, it ignores the more important economic efficiency consequences of shortcomings in the design of GST.
All hail the mighty Reserve Bank
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The Reserve Bank may talk about targeting financial stability, but its implicit policy goals of improving housing affordability and squeezing investors out of the property market smack of a dogmatic approach to setting policy that lies well outside the Bank’s mandate.
Where are house prices going to go? – The burning questions Q and A
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In November we saw house price inflation tick up 15%pa with rapid house price growth still taking place in Auckland and increasingly showing up in neighbouring areas. But with both the bright-line capital gains tax rule and changes to loan-to-value restrictions now in place, many are wondering if there is a whiff of change in the air. We think it’s still just smoke, and while the fire of the Auckland housing market is turning down from blazing inferno to roaring flame, we still expect national house prices to post annual increases over the year ahead.
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