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.

Ideas for the future

Monday April 4th 2011

Last week I wrote about the way in which New Zealand’s economic progress from 1935 into the late 1960s revolved around booming primary exports allowing deeper and deeper welfare and economic insulation policies. Then when things turned to custard from the late-1960s these policies were viewed as not having gone far enough so the economy […]

What we lack – 3

Saturday April 2nd 2011

In this third comparisons paper we examine the KoF Index of Globalisation and the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index.

Housing costs in NZ

Saturday April 2nd 2011

The newly formed Productivity Commissions has been charged with examining why NZ house prices are so high. In this paper we remind them that this job was done three years ago by the Commerce Select Committee and perhaps time and taxpayer funds would be better spent on actually examining business productivity growth impediments rather than […]

Shocks to our economy have been many in recent years. A lot more are sure to arrive.

Monday March 28th 2011

Shocks To The Economy Will Continue Over the past 14 years our economy has achieved growth averaging 2.5% per annum, jobs growth of 1.6% per annum, and inflation of 2.3%. Yet over this same period of time we have endured some fairly major shocks – especially in the past three years. In 1997/98 we had […]

Queenstown, Auckland or Perth?

Monday March 28th 2011

Will a plumber earn more in Queenstown, Auckland or Perth? The answer is fairly obvious though some need convincing. We also take a look at average earnings by industry across NZ regions.

What we lack – 2

Friday March 25th 2011

In this second comparisons paper we examine the IMD World Competitiveness Report – possibly the most extensive examination available of factors which influence the economic performance of countries.

Up to date and accurate data will be difficult to find as the effects of the earthquake(s) run through the numbers for many months.

Monday March 21st 2011

Data Unreliable For Quite Some Time Evidence of how the economy has been affected by the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch is going to take many months to appear and the risk in these uncertain times is that we too pessimistically interpret the early numbers. For instance our monthly BNZ Confidence Survey recorded a fall […]

March 2011

Sunday March 20th 2011


NZ Prospects 2011-12

Sunday March 20th 2011

This is a simple two page paper written for another outlet looking at NZ growth prospects in the short term.

Kiwis Crossing The Ditch

Friday March 18th 2011

This paper examines the factors which appear to influence the net outflow of migrants from New Zealand to Australia. The conclusion is that with the NZ dollar at a two decade low against the AUD, a large difference in respective unemployment rates, “catch-up” flows after people stayed put during the global financial crisis, and more […]

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