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.

Four Problems in Housing

Thursday June 13th 2013

People often get confused when discussing the housing problem because they are talking about different things. There are in fact at least four specific problems and I list them this week. Also the REINZ data for May.

Fixed Wholesale Funding Costs Rising

Thursday June 13th 2013

Floating rates are sitting unchanged but fixed borrowing costs are climbing on the back of rising US yields and a lift in hedging activity by the NZ business sector. Unless the US economy tanks fixed rates are likely to move higher in coming weeks and months.

Consumer Spending Moving Up

Thursday June 13th 2013

Spending on cars is creeping up as is more generalised consumer spending measured using debit and credit card data. None of the measures are soaring however and that is one reason why the RB for now is happy to leave the OCR at 2.5%. Another is that the manufacturing sector has shown itself unable to […]

Happy Farmers At Fieldays

Thursday June 13th 2013

The recent decline in the NZD combined with still low interest rates, a good breaking of the drought, plus good dairy prices have left farmers in good heart at this year’s national Farm Fieldays where I am for three days.

Spending Plans Ease Back Slightly

Monday June 10th 2013

These are early days for our new monthly survey with the people at Nine Rewards, but in the second month while people are indicating they intend spending more than usual there has been a decline to a net 10% feeling this way from 19% in our May survey. Thoughts of travelling offshore for a holiday […]

NZD declines

Thursday June 6th 2013

Predictability of exchange rates is bad during even stable times. But currently predictability is exceedingly poor and if you are considering where the NZD may be in the coming weeks, months or years you need to pay close attention and avoid locking in place a strategy with heavy reliance upon a particular set of currency […]

General easing in offshore optimism

Thursday June 6th 2013

In Australia the week ended better than hoped for last Thursday when quarterly estimates of private sector capital spending plans came in better than expected – and the improvement occurred before much thought would have been given to the recent decline in the AUD. That means the next numbers could be better again and so […]

House price expectations rising

Thursday June 6th 2013

On Monday we will release the results from our latest monthly BNZ-Nine Rewards Consumer Trends Survey. One of the results which we can note here from analysis already done is that the average expectation for the extent of nationwide house price rises over the coming year has lifted from 4.3% to 4.6%. The Auckland expectation […]

Interest rates steady

Thursday June 6th 2013

Basically this is what is going to happen with NZ interest rates but we’re just guessing at the timing and the levels at which rates end up. Rising NZ inflation coming out of the construction sector plus a fall in the unemployment rate below 5% will combine with the Reserve Bank finding it’s minimum deposit […]

Strong NZ Export Prices

Thursday June 6th 2013

The ANZ Commodity price Index in world price terms fell by 1.6% in May to lie 26.1% ahead of a year earlier. Converted into NZDs the change from a year ago was a lesser rise of 17.4% but for the month there was a 0.7% improvement.

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