Tony Alexander

Economic Commentaries

I’ve been writing a weekly column for NZ regional newspapers since 1998. Columns produced since the start of 2011 are included on this page.

Retailing Outlook

Thursday May 16th 2013

During the March quarter retail spending volumes in New Zealand grew by 0.5%, although if we cut out the volatile automotive categories including fuel then growth was 0.6%. That latter core growth rate followed a rise of 1.2% during the December quarter. So does this tell us that growth is falling away and the earlier […]

Lots of buyers, fewer vendors

Monday May 13th 2013

Our survey with the REINZ of licensed real estate agents around New Zealand has now been running for just over two years and is providing valuable insights into what is driving our residential property market. The survey shows how awareness of the shortage rose strongly during the summer of 2011/12 and it is suggesting to […]

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NZD Down Then Up

Friday May 10th 2013

The NZD fell away by over a cent on Wednesday when the Reserve Bank Governor said that the RB had intervened selling NZDs in April “We’ve also indicated that we would not expect, given the strength of the flows, that intervention would materially change the level of the exchange, but we could take potentially the […]

US Jobs Good

Friday May 10th 2013

A sigh of relief rally went through the financial markets last Friday when the United States monthly employment numbers turned out better than expected. The 165,000 rise for April was not far from expectations, but of importance the previously reported 88,000 rise for March was revised up to 138,000 and the February result was also […]

Housing in Short Supply

Friday May 10th 2013

Just quickly for the record, the monthly Barfoot and Thompson data for Auckland show they sold 1,062 dwellings in April which was a 42% rise from a year ago but only a small monthly gain seasonally adjusted. Basically April last year was very weak. Sales have risen 3% seasonally adjusted the past three months so […]

Minor Monetary Policy Alteration

Friday May 10th 2013

In a statement accompanying the release of their annual Financial Stability Report this morning the Reserve Bank said that from September 1 they will increase the capital risk weighting which large (but not small) lenders must apply to high loan to value ratio housing loans.

Vehicle Buying Strong

Friday May 10th 2013

In April there were 13,325 cars registered around New Zealand which was a firm 18% rise from a year earlier. Growth appears strong. There were 2,630 commercial vehicles registered which was a huge 45% gain from a year earlier and 39% rise for the three months from a year ago.

UK Economic Briefing

Friday May 10th 2013

I said that I would write up the material presented at the Oxford Economics conference in London last Thursday morning so here it is, starting first with their assessment of the rest of the world.

What I Saw In Cyprus

Friday May 10th 2013

I have spent much of this week in the Cyprus capital Nicosia initially enjoying a second Easter for the year and reading newspapers saved for me over the past month by New Zealand’s Honorary Consul Tony Christodoulou, then two days of interviewing a range of people regarding what has just happened in Cyprus. These people […]

The Cyprus Haircut

Friday May 10th 2013

In August 2005 a Helios Airways airplane crashed killing 121 passengers plus air crew and leaving 33 orphans. Each orphan received about €1mn in compensation which carers mainly placed in bank accounts for when the children grew older. The Cyprus bailout means most of their money is now gone. This paper explains why and how.

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