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.

Job Prospects Weak For Now

Tuesday August 14th 2012

Last week we learnt that during the June quarter the number of people in work in New Zealand fell by 2,000 to deliver employment growth of just 0.6% from a year earlier and cause a lift in the unemployment rate to 6.8% from 6.7%. That is statistically-speaking the same as the peak rate of unemployment […]

Housing Market Firm

Wednesday August 8th 2012

Our August BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has found that not only in Auckland but in some other parts of the country a sellers market dominates. Price pressure is upward on average nationwide but particularly in Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago. Only in Northland does there appear to be a wave of potential sellers appearing whereas in […]

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Rent or Buy?

Tuesday August 7th 2012

I have come across an interesting split in the attitudes of those in the housing market centred around whether one should rent or buy. People often ask me this question but giving an answer is not easy because for someone like me renting was never an option for anything other than the period if took […]

Business Confidence Near Steady

Monday August 6th 2012

Our monthly survey of BNZ Weekly Overview readers has found a small rise in expectations for where the economy will be in a year’s time to a net 13% optimistic from 9% in July. The result is consistent with growth continuing in the economy though not accelerating as yet and in that the outcome is […]

Migrants Would Love The South Island

Tuesday July 31st 2012

I’m writing this week’s column while sitting in the BNZ branch in Westport on the West Coast of the South Island having yesterday morning finished walking the Heaphy Track and then spending the night in lovely Karamea at the Last Resort motel. The flight back to Wellington doesn’t leave until 5.40pm so it is good […]

Europe Looks Munted

Tuesday July 24th 2012

It would be good to be able to write here that the extremely negative view I have been taking toward developments in Europe was not proving justified. But that is not the case and things have just become a lot lot worse over the past week. Yields on ten year government debt issued by the […]

China Battles Winds From The West

Monday July 23rd 2012

Welcome to the July issue of Growing With China. World growth prospects are dimming as the continuing deleveraging process in Europe and the United States pushes growth lower and increases pressure on governments to rein in fiscal deficits and debts while central banks are almost out of policy ammunition. We discuss this issue in depth […]

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Housing Cycle Firmly Upward

Tuesday July 17th 2012

New Zealand’s key housing fundamental is a shortage of supply caused by a combination at some times of builder shortages (2005-07 and 2013-), high costs imposed by councils, an inefficient building materials sector, a Kiwi preference for individually designed houses rather than cookie cutter premises, increasing building standards (water-tightness, insulation, earthquake), and resident unwillingness to […]

Sellers In Control

Wednesday July 11th 2012

Our July BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has revealed a further firming in all measures of market strength, including a decline in the number of potential vendors seeking property appraisals. More investors and first home buyers are perceived by responding agents to be entering the market and a strong net 18% of agents consider that we […]

Sentiment Improves Slightly

Tuesday July 10th 2012

Our monthly BNZ Confidence Survey has revealed a small improvement in sentiment about where the economy will be in a year’s time with a net 9% of respondents positive compared with a net 5% pessimistic last month. In residential real estate the comments indicate the shortage of listings spreading out of Auckland though not always […]

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