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.

Weekly overview

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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BNZ Confidence Survey

The survey is sent out to each of the 28,000 subscribers to the BNZ Weekly Overview on the first Thursday of each month and results are published the following Monday. It is the most up to date gauge of changes in business sentiment in New Zealand and accurately picks changes which subsequently appear in other surveys released with lags of many weeks.

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What’s New

Weekly Overview August 14

Thursday August 14th 2014

Retail sales data out this morning tell us that spending is growing at an above average pace. But areas of greatest strength are where prices have been falling. Consumers are seeking out bargains in an environment of low wages growth not yet being offset by rising employment and the fastest population growth (1.5%) in a decade.

We also take a quick look at dairying and combat some of the more sensationalist talk recently about the sector facing grim times with analysis showing this season’s over 30% fall in likely payout is consistent with a six year pattern of such declines.

Download document pdf 380kb

Weekly Overview August 7

Thursday August 7th 2014

This week we have seen dairy prices fall another 8.4% yet the NZD has held up because most news for the rest of the world from the Middle East to the UK, Africa, Europe and China has been negative. Locally the NZ unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6% from a peak a couple of years ago of 7.2% but there remains very little evidence still that wages growth is accelerating. This will come but clearly with still a lot of bad news offshore and some extra people becoming available from Australia employees remain more focussed on job retention than gaining  extra wage increases.

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Weekly Overview July 31

Thursday July 31st 2014

This week I take a look at retailing with a focus on the way supermarket sales have lagged over the past year and have so far not risen in line with firm economic growth as happened from 2003 – 2007.

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Weekly Overview July 24

Thursday July 24th 2014

I am back from leave now so here are my latest thoughts on the economy following a period of some weaker than expected numbers but a near universally expected hike in the official cash rate again this morning. Further rate rises will come but not for a very uncertain time between December this year and June next year.

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Weekly Overview June 26

Thursday June 26th 2014

This week we take a quick look at the monthly migration numbers showing booming net inflows. The housing implications are fairly obvious and although the boom will make the Reserve Bank more inclined to raise interest rates the ongoing strength of the NZ dollar is an opposing force. The RB will therefore probably pause after the expected July rate hike and not start up again until December.

In the Housing section we offer a new way of looking at why we look at Auckland, continue to move there, and therefore keep house prices there rising at a faster pace than the rest of the country.

The NZ dollar meanwhile has strengthened further this week and our expectation remains that it is going to stay high. After all, this week we saw the release of weaker than expected GDP data in the United States and manufacturing gauges in Europe. Yet in China the manufacturing number was good and that actually adds to NZD support given our high and rising exposure to the Chinese economy.

Download document pdf 355kb