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.

That Which Lies Ahead

Tuesday May 15th 2012

Lets say you have made it through the past four years of recession, global crises, muted recovery, deteriorating European situation and US wobbles and have a business which is doing okay but not thriving. What are the sort of messages you might want to impart to your staff to get them in a better frame […]

House Prices Rising

Friday May 11th 2012

Our May BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has found a record net 64% of agents perceive prices to be rising compared with just 25% in April. First home buyers remain very active in the market and more investors are appearing. However, consistent with the comments received from people in the real estate sector in our BNZ […]

Business Confidence Eases Slightly

Tuesday May 8th 2012

A net 22% of respondents to our May BNZ Confidence Survey indicated that they expect the economy to be better in a year’s time than it is now. This is down slightly from a net 34% positive in April but almost equal to the average for the past 12 months of a net 24% optimistic. […]

In The UK

Monday April 23rd 2012

I’m writing my column from London this week where I am based for a few days giving talks at job expos aimed at drawing tradespeople down to Australia and New Zealand. Turnout has been reasonable though not overwhelming and one suspects that a couple of things are making a lot of people hold back rather […]

Australia Weak In Parts

Tuesday April 17th 2012

I’ve just come back from a family holiday on the Gold Coast in Australia and having been to the same Broadbeach location three times before can safely say that people across the ditch are staying away from the shops. Australia has what is known as a two-speed economy. This means that there is a massive […]

NZ Real Estate Market Rising

Monday April 16th 2012

Our latest BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has found a slight easing in the strength of most indicators of agent sentiment however the market is still strongly perceived to be improving, as shown in yesterday’s REINZ data for actual turnover and prices. A net 25% of licensed agents nationwide feel that prices are rising though in […]

Business sentiment up again

Monday April 16th 2012

Our third Confidence Survey for 2012 has shown sentiment improving yet again. A net 34% of over 400 respondents expect the NZ economy to improve over the coming year. This is up from a net 27% in March and a net 2% in November expecting that things would get worse. There continue to be signs […]

Mixed Fortunes Overseas

Tuesday April 3rd 2012

Over the past few days we have seen the release of better than expected data on the state of manufacturing sectors in China and the United States, but some fairly poor data for Europe. These numbers capture in simple form how the world is generally looking at the moment.

Economy Still Smaller Than Four Years Ago

Tuesday March 27th 2012

Last week Statistics NZ released data showing that the NZ economy managed only paltry growth of 0.3% during the December quarter of 2011. This meant that for the year as a whole growth added up to only 1.4% compared with 1.2% the year before and -2.1% during 2009. This is an exceptionally poor performance over […]

Outlook Possibly Improving

Tuesday March 20th 2012

So what have we learnt this week with regard to the state of our economy? First that some people are still using the word “recession” to describe what is going on even though the official recession actually ended in the June quarter of 2009. Its just that the recovery has been exceptionally mild with only […]

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