Tony Alexander

Economic Commentaries

The full pdf version of the Weekly Overview is contained here.

Weekly Overview 17 August 2017

Thursday August 17th 2017

This week we look at real estate data and comment on the chances that the Reserve Bank will soon ease LVR restrictions. They are not high. The rules were announced on August 2013. Comparing now with then, although house price inflation has slowed nationwide from 6.3% to 5%, (Auckland 11% to 2%) lending growth is higher at 7.7% from 5.2%, and imbalances clearly persist between demand and supply growth in Auckland.


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Weekly Overview 10 August 2017

Thursday August 10th 2017

We start this week’s Overview doing what everyone else is doing today which is commenting on the Reserve Bank’s decision to do nothing. But then we take a look at the way in which so many things globally and within New Zealand have turned out the complete opposite of either what was expected or what was assumed. These include Peak Oil changing to Peak Demand, the terms of trade trending up and not down, extraordinarily low interest rates being bad for young buyers rather than good (we were better off buying our first houses when rates were at 18.5%) and so on. Enjoy this departure from the usual stuff.

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Weekly Overview 3 August 2017

Thursday August 3rd 2017

This week we take a look at yesterday’s labour market data noting that although the Kiwi dollar fell after the rnumbers on reduced expectations of monetary policy tightening, fundamentally the data show a strong jobs market. We also look at house building, business confidence, and real estate activity in Auckland before noting a recent Treasury paper on superannuation and discussing yet again the way firm economic and jobs growth do not much drive higher inflation and interest rates these days.

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Weekly Overview 27 July 2017

Thursday July 27th 2017

This week’s Overview is a short one at just three pages. We take a look at how few businesses say they lack customers, but risks of problems nonetheless are growing for a variety of reasons. We also note the rise in the Kiwi dollar back above US 75 cents. Two and a half months ago the rate was 68 cents.

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Weekly Overview 20 July 2017

Thursday July 20th 2017

This week we take a look at low inflation and the fairly obvious interest rate implications, the relatively unsurprising scaling back of earlier optimistic expectations that the greenback will soar and we will decline rapidly against it, and some thoughts on retirement saving.

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Weekly Overview 6 July 2017

Thursday July 6th 2017

We start this week’s Overview with a look at the NZIER’s quarterly survey results, then look at how construction activity may be plateauing, give a forecast of annual dwelling sales falling to 65,000 or so come 2021 from 83,000 in the past year, and give some more thoughts on driverless cars.

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Weekly Overview 29 June 2017

Thursday June 29th 2017

This week’s Overview is very short with nothing much new to add so worth bypassing if there is anything on TV to watch instead.

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Weekly Overview 22 June 2017

Thursday June 22nd 2017

In this week’s Overview we take a quick look at last week’s numbers on GDP and the current account, note the RB leaving the cash rate unchanged at 1.75% this morning but bank funding costs drifting upward, and look at when turnover and house price inflation peaked in each of the country’s regions.

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Weekly Overview 15 June 2017

Thursday June 15th 2017

This week’s Overview runs to just under 8 pages. We start by discussing National Farm Fieldays and the topic of this year’s 11.00am and 2.00pm talks to farmers in the BNZ tent – the new world of credit rationing in New Zealand. We then discuss the Reserve Bank’s recent paper seeking consultation on a debt to income ratio tool – it will probably be eventually introduced but government are unlikely to be in a hurry to do so as the immediate impact will sap growth by up to 0.5% in the Reserve Bank’s estimation.


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Weekly Overview 8 June 2017

Thursday June 8th 2017

This week’s Overview is short and sweet with an update to calculations made a year or so ago looking at housing shortages around the regions, and some commentary on the strong NZ dollar.

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