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.

Residential Real Estate Market Improving

Wednesday March 7th 2012

Our latest BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey has found continuing strong growth in the number of first home buyers entering the market, further interest from investors, strong perceptions that prices are rising, but no clear feeling in recent months for whether the market is more a buyers or sellers one. Having said that Auckland sticks out […]

Confidence Up – But Will Hiring Rise?

Tuesday March 6th 2012

Each month I run a survey of the 26,000 people who receive the BNZ Weekly Overview asking whether they feel the economy will be in better or worse shape in a year’s time. The result from the latest survey completed mainly on March 2 was that a net 27% of people now feel optimistic. That […]

Confidence Keeps Improving

Monday March 5th 2012

For the third month in a row business sentiment about where the economy will be in a year’s time has improved. A net 27% of respondents in our monthly survey feel optimistic compared with 13% in February and a recent low of a net 2% feeling pessimistic in early November. The improvement in sentiment is […]

Strategic Issues

Tuesday February 28th 2012

Each year I give between 50 and 100 talks and for the past two decades have focussed almost exclusively on where our economy looked likely to go over the coming 18 months with implications for interest rates, the exchange rate, housing and labour markets and so on. This year I shall be giving the same […]

Time To Fix – No Hurry Though

Tuesday February 14th 2012

Home owners with mortgages may have noticed that over the past month bank fixed lending rates have come down to the point where out to three years the interest rates are not too much above current floating mortgage rates. For instance at the BNZ our floating rate is 5.74% (Total Money product) whereas the three […]

NZ Real Estate Market Picking Up

Thursday February 9th 2012

Our latest BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey of New Zealand’s more than 10,000 real estate agents has found a clear lift in activity over the past month. More first home buyers are perceived to be seeking homes and for the first time since September a net positive proportion of agents now feel that investors are entering […]

NZ Dollar Up Despite Mediocre NZ Data

Tuesday February 7th 2012

Recent data releases overseas have come out on the better than expected side with the most important surprise coming in the United States jobs report for January. A rise in job numbers of 243,000 and fall in the unemployment rate to 8.3% from 8.5% were both unexpected results and as a result we have seen […]

Confidence Firms Slightly

Tuesday February 7th 2012

Our first BNZ Confidence Survey for 2012 has found a slight lift in business sentiment to a net 13% of respondents confident that things will be better in a year’s time from 3% in early December. There were a number of expressions of concern about the high currency, compliance costs, and weak consumer demand. Few […]

No Change When Governor Changes

Tuesday January 31st 2012

The Reserve Bank Governor Dr Alan Bollard has announced that he will step down at the scheduled end of his second term in late-September and the hunt therefore commences for New Zealand’s third central bank governor since the low inflation rules were introduced in 1989. Prior to independence being given to the RB in 1987 […]

Not a good year ahead

Wednesday January 18th 2012

Another year is with us and so once again we start a weekly look at what is happening and likely to happen in the New Zealand economy with reference of course to events overseas and how they will affect us. For this coming year it would be great to be able to present a set […]

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