Tony Alexander

Economic Commentaries

Tony Alexander

Welcome to the online library we have created for placing reports and specialised commentaries too large or detailed to go into our flagship publication the BNZ Weekly Overview.

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The BNZ Weekly Overview is sent out each Thursday night to over 28,000 subscribers. The publication covers the latest data on the NZ economy, the housing market, interest rates, and foreign exchange.

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What’s New

NZ Observer May 2015

Thursday May 21st 2015

Since the start of the year there have been developments which suggest stronger growth in the economy, employment etc., and developments which suggest the opposite. Courtesy of the still slowing Chinese economy and the deteriorating outlook for dairying, we suggest that the negatives are slightly in ascendancy. That does not mean poor economic performance just ahead, but it does suggest a benign outlook for interest rates and mildly downward track for the NZ dollar. The chances of parity with the Aussie dollar are now quite slim.

Download document pdf 806kb

Sporadic 8 – May 12 2015

Tuesday May 12th 2015

It has become fashionable to blame the rise in Auckland house prices and decline in affordability on either Asian buyers, under-building, consenting issues, speculators or so on. Each person’s bias in cause attribution generates their own solution to the issue. However in Sporadic 8 we run through 8 factors at record or near record levels which should help build an understanding that no solution is possible. The price rises will continue, affordability will worsen, accommodation shortages for low income families will intensify for perhaps another 2 – 3 years.

Download document pdf 293kb

Sporadic 7 – May 5 2015

Tuesday May 5th 2015

Auckland has a housing shortage, and as illustrated last week, you can generate a large estimate of it very easily. In this issue of Sporadic we calculate the under-building of houses in Auckland since 1996, show how you can produce your own estimate of the shortage, graph the correlation between annual under-building and house price changes, and also graph the continuing rise in that under-building since 2002. The price implications of this simple analysis are clear. We also look at the two recent periods when Auckland house prices fell and postulate what it is that will cause the next period of decline.

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Sporadic 6 – 29 April 2015

Wednesday April 29th 2015

Just how big is the housing shortage in Auckland? Common estimates in the media range from near 7,000 to 30,000. But what if we calculated how many houses Auckland would need to give the same 2.58 persons per dwelling occupancy rate as the rest of the country? The number is big.

Download document pdf 248kb

Sporadic 5 – April 23 2015

Thursday April 23rd 2015

A survey recently released shows that in spite of an improved economy and outlook more SME owners want to either sell their business or stop growing in order to better balance work and home life. This is a key reason why our economy fails to produce the many larger companies we need in order to boost exports and rise sustainably back up the OECD ladder. In this Sporadic issue we look at work we did back in early-2011 examining NZ business culture and how it works to impede business and economic growth.

Download document pdf 256kb