These local economies are flourishing and it’s not the ones you expect

  • News
  • September 7, 2015
  • Elly Strang
These local economies are flourishing and it’s not the ones you expect

Wellington City Council commissioned the report to explore how well the city’s economy is performing.

The data gathered found economic performance and confidence in Wellington is strong.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown says figures showing a lift in annual GDP from 1.7 percent to 2.6 percent confirm this.

“Key indicators including non-residential consents, house sales and prices, guest nights, car registrations, and a 3.5 per cent lift in the retail trade are all positive and provide a foundation for our future growth,” Wade-Brown says.

The retail trade lift she speaks of is a 3.5 percent lift in the latest quarter, up from 1.7 percent in the March 2015 quarter.

Spending on large ticket items like cars were doing well, but Infometrics says sales volumes will die down as a result of the weaker New Zealand dollar.

The Thames Coromandel area is also performing well, with its GDP growing 4 percent.

Dairy farmers are having a harder time in this region, but according to Infometrics, other parts of the primary sector are benefiting from a low New Zealand dollar.

Goods such as seafood, meat and fruit exports are all getting favourable world prices.

Retail trade in the region is up 1.6 percent.

In Rotorua, the economy has experienced a 3.2 percent growth.

As the city is heavily invested in tourism, businesses associated with that are having a good ride.

The number of international visitors coming to New Zealand annually just cracked the three million mark for the firm time.

Infometrics has correlated this with strong retail spending in Rotorua.

Data from Marketview shows that retail spending has increased 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Nelson is buzzing over findings that it’s New Zealand’s fifth fastest growing regional economy.

Infometrics senior economist Benje Patterson says its economy grew by 3.1 percent over the year to June 2015.

This was the fifth fastest out of 16 regions.

Patterson says Jetstar, Originair and Kiwi Regional Airlines deciding recently to start flying to Nelson are a vote of confidence in the area’s economy and tourism.

Retail sales aren’t stellar in the region, as Marketview data has shown sluggish growth in electronic retail spending.

However, Infometrics attribtutes this to the new retail developments in the nearby Tasman region attracting more spending.

Unemployment rates in the region are close to 4.5 percent, compared to a peak of 5.2 percent in December 2012.

Patterson says the slump in dairy prices that is hitting provincial areas hard isn’t impacting on Nelson as much.

“Nelson will avoid many of the economic problems afflicting other parts of provincial New Zealand, due to a relatively low exposure to dairying across the broader Nelson and Tasman region,” he says.

“The lower New Zealand dollar is stimulating returns for seafood exporters and businesses exposed to the horticulture sector, as well as encouraging more visitors to the area.”

Despite these positive findings, Infometrics says that nationally, New Zealand is facing a two-speed economy in the coming years.

It says much of the country is at risk of a recession while Auckland is only modestly affected.

However, there also a possibility that Auckland will be dragged down by the dairy drop-off as well.

It says it expects the Reserve Bank to cut the official cash rate further in the coming months back to 2.50 percent by October.

​ ​

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