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.

Go To www.braingainnz.co.nz

Wednesday March 20th 2013

From March 2013 all releases related to the monthly Brain Gain NZ will be posted at www.braingainnz.co.nz

What I’ve found out in Singapore – so far

Thursday March 14th 2013

First of all many thanks to those readers who responded in our monthly Confidence Survey this week. The result of a net 41% feeling optimistic about the economy in the coming year tells us two things. First, things look good with respect to growth in job numbers and business investment, better conditions beckon for raising […]

Properties selling faster

Thursday March 14th 2013

This week the REINZ released their monthly housing data and they show the following. In February there were 6,632 dwellings sold around New Zealand which was a rise of 7.5% from a year earlier and rough seasonally adjusted change near zero. Sales growth appears to be plateauing. Prices however are rising with the measure adjusted […]

NZ House Sales To Foreigners

Thursday March 14th 2013

In our survey this month we asked agents to identify the proportions of their sales to various groups. Nationwide some 24% of sales are to first home buyers, 19% to investors, and 9% to people offshore. This first table shows these proportions for all of NZ, then in the next three columns for the three […]

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Business Confidence Hits 19 Month high

Saturday March 9th 2013

Our second monthly BNZ Confidence Survey for 2013 has found that in spite of the spreading drought, export-suppressing high exchange rate, and worries about housing affordability, sentiment regarding where the economy is heading has improved to the highest level since July 2011.

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US Better, Europe Worse

Thursday March 7th 2013

The developing theme with regard to Europe at the moment is of things getting worse. This comes about as a result of the Italian election outcome and recently weaker than expected data. For instance, the Euro-Zone unemployment rate climbed to 11.9% in January from 11.8% in December and 10.8% a year earlier.

NZD Back Over 55 Pence

Thursday March 7th 2013

The Kiwi dollar is little changed against the greenback from a week ago. But because the USD has been boosted by positive data, deepening worries about Europe, and strong performances in sharemarkets we are higher on all the crosses – except against the Aussie dollar.

An accelerating upturn

Thursday March 7th 2013

And so the housing market ball is now well and truly rolling and this is now the fourth housing cycle I will experience as a practicing economist in New Zealand. There is increased media interest in the rising market and I did both TV and radio interviews on the issue in the past week centred […]

Construction activity rising rapidly

Thursday March 7th 2013

During the week we learnt that in the December quarter the volume of building work undertaken rose 1.8% seasonally adjusted after gaining 9.8% in the September quarter. Activity was 13% ahead of a year ago with residential work up 14% and non-residential 12.1%. So the construction sector in the NZ economy, which usually accounts for […]

Auckland Prices Up 27% – Now Watch The Migration Effect

Thursday February 28th 2013

The upturn in the housing cycle underway in New Zealand has only just started and it will probably run for another three years. It bears greatest resemblance to the 1990s cycle which was also led by Auckland, rather than the 2000s cycle which came out of the regions. The 1980s cycle was a mish-mash of […]

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