Although the net percent of our 549 respondents expressing optimism about the economy has jumped to 47.2% from 30% two months ago, perhaps the most significant result in our survey this month is in the labour market. Only a net 12.2% of respondents now say that they are finding it hard to source jobs or extra hours of work. This proportion was a net 23.8% in our previous survey undertaken at the end of November.
The results are supportive of a good outlook for retailers this year, but there may be a note of caution injected regarding how much the Reserve bank will need to raise interest rates to keep inflation suppressed this cycle. Whereas in late-November a net 54.5% of respondents said they expect house prices to rise in the coming year, that proportion has now risen to a net 68.5%.
NB: The net percentages are calculated as Up minus Down with the result divided by the sum of all responses of Up, Down, and Same or variations thereof. EG, for this month 328 or 60% of people said they have a positive outlook for the economy, 69 or 13% Worse, 152 or 28% Same. (328-69)/(328+69+152)*100 = 47.2%
The survey is made possible by Nine Rewards, an online market research panel of over 70,000 people in New Zealand. www.ninerewards.co.nz