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.

Offshore Outlook More Worrying

Tuesday July 10th 2012

It is conceivable that at some stage in the next few months I will write a positive column about prospects for world growth. It is also conceivable that the need for such a column will be absent because alien invaders will have enslaved us all. Things do not look good overseas and one does not […]

July Talk Handout

Tuesday July 3rd 2012

The attached brief paper was prepared for a presentation in Auckland on July 4.

Labour Market Loose – For Now

Tuesday July 3rd 2012

New Zealand’s labour market is currently loose. We know that because the unemployment rate is officially 6.7% which of course is higher than desired and well up from a record low (since proper records started in 1986) of 3.5% in 2007. We also know that during the March quarter a net 10% of businesses responding […]

Health Sector Changes Ahead

Monday June 25th 2012

 New Zealand enjoyed a golden period of growth between 1992 and 2007 averaging 3.5% per annum. The unemployment rate fell from 11.4% to 3.5%, inflation averaged only 2.2%, and while core Crown expenditure ended up changing little at around 34% – 35% of GDP, public health spending rose from 5.1% of GDP to 6% and […]

Europe Still Getting Worse

Tuesday June 19th 2012

The Greeks have narrowly given a majority to the New Democracy Party which could form a coalition with the socialist Pasok Party and become government. Given that the main party supports continuation of the austerity measures needed to be implemented in order to keep receiving bailout money from the IMF and European partners the markets […]

Sellers Market Returns

Thursday June 14th 2012

Our June BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey for the first time in more than four years provides solid evidence of conditions shifting toward being a sellers market. A record net 15% of respondents report that buyers are now more motivated than sellers. In addition a record net 27% of respondents note that they are observing more […]

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Pessimism Is Back

Tuesday June 12th 2012

This week I conducted then released the results of my monthly survey of readers of the BNZ Weekly Overview as regards how they see our economy in a year’s time. On average over the past three years the survey has resulted in a net 25% of people saying they think that things will improve. This […]

Pessimism Returns

Monday June 11th 2012

Our monthly BNZ Confidence Survey has revealed a return of pessimism regarding prospects for the New Zealand economy over the coming year. A net 5% of respondents expect the economy to be in worse shape compared with a net 22% in our early-May survey expecting things to get better. In April a net 34% of […]

Global Downturn Will Hit Us

Tuesday June 5th 2012

It would be wonderful if I could write here that things have turned for the better in Europe and other parts of the planet. But they have not and the world appears increasingly likely to go through if not another recession at least a period of minimal growth. You’ll have seen most of these pieces […]

What If Greece Leaves The Euro?

Tuesday May 29th 2012

This week Germany sold two year government bonds to investors for a zero percent interest rate. It is conceivable that investors will soon have to pay for the privilege of buying such bonds. This would be akin to the bank in the United States which for a while in 2009 was charging depositors for placing […]

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